That’s a solid ambition to have in life, and President Barack Obama has some good news for you. Earlier Tuesday, Obama announced plans to send humans to Mars by the 2030s.
In an op-ed for CNN, Obama explained that the U.S. government is partnering with private space companies to send people to the red planet in the coming years, so if going to Mars is a dream of yours, here’s what you have to do to prepare:
1. Be patient
Obama announced that serious action is being taken to send humans to Mars by the 2030s and return them safely to Earth. In his op-ed, Obama promised, “Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.”
Sounds like Obama is on this and wants to help make your dream come true. Be patient. Obama said 2030s. We have 14 more years until 2030 and then once we get there, we may have to wait until the end of that decade. And remember, this timeline is a goal, not a premonition.
2. Make up your mind about aliens
Do aliens exist? That’s up to you, but before you head to Mars you’re going to want to reach a firm conclusion on the whole alien debate. Deciding whether or not you believe in the extraterrestrial creatures will dictate your entire space experience.
3. Don’t fall in love unless you’re ready to have a serious chat about suspended animation
It’s a classic tale of fictional space-related romance: one member of a couple departs for outer space and the other remains on Earth, eagerly awaiting their return.
Somehow, due to poor communication most likely, the guy in space usually removes himself from suspended animation in an attempt to age at the same rate as his girl on Earth, but OH NO she already put herself in suspended animation to stop aging for him. It’s a mess.
Though the fictional extent of suspended animation is not yet possible, it was reported that surgeons were set to attempt the first ever suspended animation trials on humans in 2014.
If suspended animation exists by the time you go to Mars, be ready to have this important discussion ahead of time. Trust us, it’ll help.
4. Listen to some Elton John
Music helps people focus, and what better way to prepare yourself to board a rocket and launch into outer space than by listening to the musical stylings of the “Rocket Man” himself, Sir Elton John.
You don’t know what challenges await you out there in the universe, so you’ll want to make sure you’re in peak physical condition before jetting off to Mars. You’ll need your strength to adjust to the lack of gravity up there. If you need a great workout playlist, please refer to the previous item on this list.
6. Familiarize yourself with all things sci-fi
You’ve got a lot of time to kill before you’ll have the opportunity to go to Mars, and if you’re really dedicated to the dream you’ll spend that time educating yourself on all things sci-fi. You’ll watch Star Wars, a little Neil deGrasse Tyson programming, um… Star Trek, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (of course,) binge-watch The Twilight Zone, study a forgotten Matt Damon in Martian, you know, all that jazz.
This way, no matter what happens out there, you’ll be prepared.
7. Before going to Mars stop attempting to impress others by throwing popcorn into the air and catching it in your mouth
If you dream of going to Mars but are also one of those people who loves trying to impress others by throwing bite-sized pieces of food up in the air and catching them in your mouth, you’re going to have to get a new party trick, my friend.
While you’re traveling through space, the whole zero gravity thing means you’re going to have to resort to eating your M&M’s and popcorn the old fashioned way … by politely placing them into your mouth and chewing. Sorry.
8. Wean yourself off of ‘Earth food’
The food is different in space. While NASA has surely come a long way from the extremely limiting and unappetizing selection of freeze-dried, tubular foods, you’re still going to need to gradually introduce poor quality cuisine into you’re diet in preparation. That sounds truly awful, but the space food selection is far less intimidating than it was in the past. Now, astronauts can chomp on space tacos and something called a cheeseburger that doesn’t resemble a cheeseburger at all.
Whatever, culinary sacrifices are a small price to pay for visiting Mars.
9. Say goodbye to your loved ones
Don’t leave your goodbyes until the last minute. Be sure to use this ample time before visiting Mars is possible to bid important people in your life like family members, friends, co-workers, your hairdresser and your mail carrier farewell. If they don’t understand why you’re making this particular life choice, simply tell them you need some space.
10. Imagine yourself in space
While you’re killing time waiting to go to Mars, why not rent a nice bounce house and pretend you’re gently soaring through a spacecraft. Buy some moon boots and hop around. Lay outside and gaze up at the stars.
Humans will be on Mars soon enough, have no fear.