Consider this: More than 200,000 real live people have applied to be on Mars One, a four-man mission to the Red Planet with no return voyage. Scheduled to depart in 2024, the voyage will be humanity’s first attempts at colonizing another planet.
“If I Die on Mars,” a new mini-doc from The Guardian, explores whether this is a meaningless suicide mission or one of the most noble voyages a person could ever embark upon. It introduces viewers to three of the 660 remaining candidates currently competing for a spot on the team, and how they’re preparing for the day they could find out they’re leaving life as they know it on Earth forever.
It’s a bit of a gut-wrenching exploration of the human condition. For example: Have the candidates ever had sex before — and will they miss it? Have they ever been in love before — and what happens if they’re chosen for the mission and fall in love before takeoff? Are they afraid of disappearing forever into space? Prepare to be left wondering whether their sacrifice is worth the potential reward, and whether we should feel incredible sadness or respect for the four explorers who eventually get picked to embark into the great unknown.
On one hand, there’s the whole issue of mortality and dying alone and whether or not you’re wasting your entire life on a fool’s errand, which is a bit much to contemplate on a Tuesday. On the other, space is pretty cool! You’ve definitely spent 10 minutes devoting mental space to much dumber things.