They say that the person has already been born who will walk on Mars. But what I wonder is why we just don't go there now with a manned mission. We have the technology, and I am not talking about the old, slow chemical propelled rockets. With today's technology, a trip to Mars would probably be death sentence. First off, it would take at least six to nine months to get there and during that trip you would get dosed with the radiation equivalent to a whole body CT scan every five to six days. Now that would sure increase your chances of cancer, wouldn't it? Once you get there, you would have to then wait up to two years for Earth and Mars to be close enough for your return trip.
A fellow named Franklin Diaz has come up with a better propulsion system. He has built plasma rocket engines and these, he believes, will shorten the trip to the red planet to less than six weeks. Now we are talking!! That is a lot better than six to nine months that it would now take.
Once we get there, we will find that it isn't a very habitable or friendly place to be. There is an extremely thin atmosphere and lots of red dust. It looks like a red desert:
I think if I were to take such a long trip, I would prefer to go somewhere where there is trees, and grass, and flowers, and wildlife, and blue skies. Of course, if I had a chance to go to Mars, or the Moon, or just up in an orbit around Earth, I would jump at the chance. But at my age, I could never endure the rigorous training that astronauts go through. So, if any of you get to go, please send me a post card, you hear?