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What Would You Tell NASA to Do to Improve the Mission to Mars?

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In what is probably the coolest suggestion box ever created, NASA has announced it wants you to send in tips and wisdom nuggets that might improve its manned mission to Mars. And you could win a few thousand bucks while doing it.

The space agency’s on the lookout for detailed ideas that’ll support prolonged human dwelling on the fourth rock from the sun. Dubbed the “Journey to Mars Challenge,” the committee’s open to space pioneering proposals dealing with “shelter, food, water, breathable air, communication, exercise, social interactions and medicine.”


Survival schemes need to be reasonably realistic from a technical standpoint and should include robust analysis, data, and plans for implantation. They also need to cut the cord with Earth as much as possible—resupply missions are expected to be spaced out by a minimum of 500 days, after all.

The best three submissions nab a prize of $5,000 each, enough to buy what would be my suggestion, a year’s supply of Hot Pockets. Don’t tell me ex-Earthlings wouldn’t miss that.



Image: Scientists simulate Mars in a Utah desert via Getty