When a rescue ship eventually re-establishes contact, Lowell knows that his crime—he killed a crew man--will soon be discovered. It is then that he realizes a lack of light has restricted plant growth, and he races to install lamps to correct this situation.
In an effort to save the last forest, Lowell jettisons the dome to safety. He then detonates nuclear charges, destroying himself and the ship. The final scene is of the now fully lighted forest greenhouse drifting into deep space, with Dewey tenderly caring for it, holding an old watering can.
We don’t know if drones or bio-domes are in the future for the Mars astronauts, and the ultimate outcome of the experiment is uncertain. The Mars One description of what they will report is optimistic highlighting the lighter side of isolation. They will be asked to share all that they enjoy and find challenging. It will give the people on Earth a unique and personal insight view of life on Mars. The creators have envisioned intriguing questions like: What is it like to walk on Mars? How do you feel about your fellow astronauts after a year? What is it like living in the reduced Mars’ gravity? What is your favorite food? Do you enjoy the sunsets on Mars? These are lovely questions, but somehow they skirt the interpersonal issues that could be the down fall of space exploration.
Reports would have to include interpersonal relationships and the effects of living on a hostile planet and confined enclosures with restricted interaction and support of a wider community. In science fiction movies like “Silent Running” and more famous “Space Odyssey: 2001,” the science was the easy part. Living together was the challenge. I know you are probably thinking can science fiction predict the future.
Business Insider described some instances when science fiction writers like Jules Verne did in fact predict the future in their books, some of which have been made into movies.
Verne's dystopian "Paris in the Twentieth Century" wasn't his greatest work, but what makes it most interesting are the inventions he predicted almost 100 years before they were actually made. They include the submarine and the technology needed to land on the moon, they said.
“The World Set Free” by H.G. Wells predicted the use of atomic bombs. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley told us about a society controlled by mood-enhancing drugs. If you have ever heard the phrase “Orwellian,” then you know “1984” predicted world domination by a select few.
“Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein: he may have also foreseen the Mars One mission to send people on a one-way ticket to live on Mars, as his book's main character was born and raised on the red planet.
“Neuromancer” by William Gibson was published in 1984 about cyberspace and computer hackers. Many of us were still figuring out how to use a computer while Gibson's character was not only using a computer, but hacking and stealing data.
Earthlings are consistently overwhelmed by the enormity of space and the infinite possibilities for future generations who will be space explorers. Mars One is the beginning of experimentation with living on other planets in a different atmosphere and environment. If stories about space travel are any indicator, the most difficult challenge will be just trying to get along with others, which if you think about is the same thing many of us are doing on earth.
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking