A Mission To Mars? Mele Kalikimaka Makes More Sense

Published 2:46 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Not that Hawaii needs tourism assistance, but the recent announcement that soil samples collected on Mars resemble dirt on those tropical islands can only be a further boon.

And it may save NASA, and US taxpayers, pillions and villions of dollars.

We all know the next Big Thing for our space program is creating a mission, and the necessary spacecraft, to send human beings to Mars and return them safely to Earth.

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Very risky.

Very expensive.

And it will take a very long time.

If dirt on Mars resembles dirt on Hawaii it would be redundant and wasteful to go to Mars. Let's just send them off on an airline to Hawaii, instead, and just study Mars there.

Look, we pack the astronauts on a plane, they land on the islands before dinner and we get an immediate patriotic and emotional pay-off on some made-to-order reality TV show before bedtime.

Or maybe it's CNN and Fox News.

That's way better than waiting months for astronauts to arrive on Mars, with most people nodding off and forgetting they're even in space at all when the crackling, static-filled transmission from Mars diverts us from some television show about strangely coiffed poodles auditioning to become expert deer hunters.

Make it bark, monsieur.

A major advantage to this interstellar strategy is that if dirt on Mars is like the dirt on Hawaii then NASA can spend the rest of its administrative life-centuries upon centuries-sending astronauts to Hawaii, to see if the nation's 50th state is making any additional progress toward a Mars-like evolution.

That will save rillions and dillions of dollars and may allow the federal government to nationalize The Washington Redskins and break the team's apparent owner-driven curse.

What's even farther out, way out there in a 1960s sort of way, in fact, is that NASA can combine time travel with space travel and never leave the United States of America.

Time travel! Wow! Bow! Wow! Most people think time travel is pure fantasy, something H. G. Wells heard his dog bark sarcastically after a binge on pine cones.

No more.

Time travel is alive and well and living in our 50th state.

The similarity in dirt samples clearly demonstrates that Mars once was a tropical paradise, with surfing, hula dancers, and luaus. Therefore, by sending astronauts to Hawaii-and NASA will quickly qualify for frequent flyer miles and great free stuff-we send our space men and space women to Mars as it existed millions of years ago.

The science of impossibility becomes a nice flight from LA or San Fran to Honolulu.

Who knew time travel would come with gratuitous bags of assorted nuts. Make mine macadamia, extra sea salt.

Now we will know exactly what Mars was like when there was water and life on that planet and we'll even have a theme song. Cue Bing Crosby: “Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day…Here we know that Christmas will be Martian green and bright. The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night.”

Because going to Hawaii is so much more affordable than riding a rocket to Mars, NASA could extend this Mars mission to non-astronauts-secretaries, food service workers, and, well, journalists.

Astronauts wouldn't get all the fun.

I am convinced that, though it would be an official mission, NASA employees could be convinced to accept a free trip to Hawaii.

Probably US civilians would volunteer, as well, boosting our knowledge about Mars and the Red Planet's mysterious past, no doubt improving our academic test scores, too.

There is a downside, of course, and one that is obvious.

Hawaii seems destined to one day a gazillion years from now to see its wondrous beaches become the kind of landscape people from Jupiter or Saturn will send space ships to, collecting samples of Hawaii's dirt.

Yes, Hawaii will some day look like a bad special effect from the original Star Trek series, or worse, like Penny's apartment in The Big Bang Theory.

But why worry about that now.

Reservations for NASA astronauts to Hawaii?

Book 'em, Danno.