Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Oh Brother, a Colony on Mars Isn't What We Need to See on OURTV; KATE FOX

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Oh Brother, a Colony on Mars Isn't What We Need to See on OURTV; KATE FOX

Article excerpt

I'M sad that Ryan Toal from Stanley won't be going to Mars. The launch pad scene would have been brilliant.

A space-suited astronaut being hauled by the collar by his Mum saying "If you're not coming back, then you're not going. You're staying here".

A clip round the glass-bowl encased head for good measure as she dragged him back to Stanley and away from the clutches of the red planet.

It could have happened. Mechanic Ryan was on the shortlist of 6,000 to colonise Mars and his Mum spoke those words this week as they waited to find out whether he'd make a shorter list of 100.

He didn't. Twenty three year old Hannah Earnshaw, who is doing a PhD in astronomy at Durham University did. She might get to be televised training for eight years and then become one of just four people chosen to become the first colonists on Mars.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has thrown a bit of cold water on things by saying that the first colonist will die after sixty eight days on Mars because of lack of food and oxygen but, let's face it, looking ahead to far off dangers is not one of the human species most prominent qualities.

The makers of Big Brother were planning to film it all which I imagine may lead to some interesting casting.

If they've only got four people going then they really need a medical doctor, an engineer, a test pilot and a physicist.

However television will require somebody who is terrified of flying, somebody who could start an argument with themselves, somebody who once met Christopher Biggins and a claustrophobic psychopath, who has just been released from a prison sentence for destroying essential biospheres.

Video of the project released so far includes them asking one geeky applicant whether he's ever had sex.

I can hear Marcus Bentley now: "Day 4,135 on the Mars Colony. Adam is being ostracised by the rest of the group for wee-ing in the oxygen capsule and Eve has announced she is going to give birth to a new master-species.

Who should we evict? YOU decide".

As it happens, I've been reading astronaut Chris Hadfield's book this week. …

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