Bajillionaire aerospace engineer Dennis Tito and his Inspiration Mars foundation are looking for a married couple to send on a 500-day trip around the Red Planet, embarking as soon as 2018. Women are from Mars, but men, I guess, will also be from Mars.
Why a married couple? Partly in the interest of gender parity, partly because Tito – who became the first civilian space tourist in 2001 – would prefer that the two-person crew not murder each other. Spouses are perfect candidates, considering they have defied logic by not murdering each other already. Inspiration Mars is specifically recruiting would-be astronauts over the age of 50 because the vessel will be exposed to high levels of radiation. The decreased likelihood of pregnancy may also be a plus.
Intrigued? Here are five reasons why this unusual honeymoon (honeymars?) would make a trip to Paris or Aruba look like an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese.
1. You won’t have to drop 140 million of your frequent-flyer miles on this trip. This is all on Tito’s dime. His billion-dollar dime.
2. Like an all-inclusive resort, your accommodation, meals (today’s special: irradiated beef and rehydratable broccoli au gratin), and oxygen reserves are taken care of. You won’t want to crack open a celebratory bottle of champagne on board – popped corks are dangerous in a spaceship’s close quarters – but you could take a page from the Russians and sneak some vodka.
3. There is no official record of astronauts having sex in space – emphasis on “official” – but we can’t imagine that interstellar boning wouldn’t be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, provided you can overcome the physical challenges of zero gravity.
4. No need for a pre-bikini crash diet. (Mars isn’t exactly tropical, but it was warmer than parts of the U.S. and Canada earlier this week.) Space suits are universally slimming, and besides, you’ll be literally weightless.
5. Cans tied to the back of a space shuttle burn up spectacularly upon leaving the atmosphere.
Image via Veer