I was intrigued by an article I read on the BBC's website http://bbc.co.uk/news today which said a married couple is being sought for a proposed voyage to Mars. Preferably a married couple and preferably middle-aged. The trip would take around 501 days (not 502 days apparently, hmm..). The couple should be compatible and feel they could endure a long period of close contact with no possibility of stepping outside for a minute.
When we get married we intend living in close proximity to our husband or wife as the case may be. We don't however look down the long road ahead of us. All we see is someone we care about and we live in the moment, which in my view, is the only place to live. But if someone said this means you're going to be together for 50 years without a break or even 500 days without a break from each other's company, I think most of us would say "whoa-up!" and start to wonder what that would be like. Or would we? Maybe it would be better to put a newly wed couple on that spaceship. By the time they got back to earth they'd have had all those fights and making up which are part and parcel of a young marriage and their relationship would have matured.
For the keen space traveller there is the possibility of getting to within 240 kms of Mars. Awesome! Personally I'd rather a week's shopping in New York or London. As far as I'm concerned Mars can take care of itself without me going up close to admire it. But then I guess I am non-adventurous (if there is such a term). Certainly if you want to impress anyone at one of those glamorous cocktail parties to which you are sure to be invited there is no better way than saying, as you sip from your glass of Kir Royal: "Moi? Oh I've just come back from a little trip to Mars."