The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, after having picked me to go on a mission to Mars, gave me all the training and education that was required for me to take the trip. Today was the big day. The only catch is that I can never go home. I shall always be lost in space. I’m on my way now, ever since six o’clock this morning. It’s occurred to me over the course of my long journey that there are many things about our third stone from the sun which I shall miss terribly. I have no idea what kind of things they might possibly have on Mars that could take the place of food, air and water. Things of that nature, that seem so droll when they’re always available, are greatly missed when they’e gone permanently. On my home planet, I could go to a restaurant or food store and get any of a wide variety of things to satisfy my hunger and thirst. That was also true of other interests. In space, even on Mars, it must be so annoyingly lonely and boring. In spite of what many people have always claimed, I don’t ever expect to find any intelligent life forms on my new planet. Even if some intelligent life could be found, how could I possibly be expected to communicate with such a creature.
Another thingthat will be lacking in my new environment is a familiar sense of temporal and spatial perception. Gravity is quite a problem too. Everyone knows that things like that operate quite differently in other parts of the universe. Throughout my lifetime I’ve always enjoyed and counted upon familiarity. Now that I’ve left Earth I shall have to start entirely over again in every possible way.
Besides all the practical things that are unavoidably necessary for mere physical survival and mobility, there will also be quite a social problem. Mankind has always been quite an intrinsically social animal. As I said before I shall not have anyone with whom I can communicate. No one could possibly be expected to maintain such a lonely lifestyle forever. It must be quite a very weird feeling without other people around. Mars has no history, culture, politics, philosophy, education or work force. It will be quite a very nasty experience having all those memories of things like that, and not being able to find any practical application whatsoever for them on my new planet. I’ve always liked extreme peace and quiet but this will be entirely too much of it. On Earth there’s such an exceptionally enchanting variety of places, things and experiences. Somehow I don’t expect such a lot of things on Mars that can possibly be expected to pique my interest in any significant way.
Life on Earth may not have been absolutely perfect but at least it had one advantage. I was always so good at it. I knew exactly what to expect. Everything from now on will be so entirely unprecedented and confusing. There’s a fairly seriously significantly good chance I may mess things up a bit.