NASA official may have made a 35-million-mile slip of the tongue.
The director of NASA's Ames Research Center in California casually let slip mention of the 100-Year Starship recently, a new program funded by the super-secret government agency, DARPA. In a talk at San Francisco's Long Conversation conference, Simon “Pete” Worden said DARPA has $1M to spend, plus another $100,000 from NASA itself, for the program, which will initially develop a new kind of propulsion engine that will take us to Mars or beyond.
There's only one problem: The astronauts won't come back.
The 100-year ship would leave Earth with the intention of colonizing a planet, but it would likely be a one-way trip because of the time it takes to travel 35 million miles. That’s a daunting prospect, partly because of the ethical dilemma, and partly because it may be the only recourse.
"What psychological challenges should we anticipate in those who volunteer in good faith and with great courage, yet find themselves confronting misgivings or loneliness or feelings of rage or beset with mental illness?" asked Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist
and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.