|(Saint Anthony the Great)|
Although flying off to Mars might sound exciting in theory, the reality is much more like the life of a monk than it is like the life of an adventurer.
The Desert Fathers (and Mothers), for example, practiced Christian ascetic living within a stark region of third-century Egypt. These small monastic communities adhered to strict routines that didn’t leave much worldly wiggle room.
Irene Klotz of Reuters reports on a team of researchers whose lives sound eerily similar to those of the erstwhile Desert Fathers. These researchers “have been living in a mockup Mars habitat on a Hawaiian volcano practicing isolated living on the Red Planet.”
This team mainly remains within the confines of a 1,000-square-foot dome. When members do venture forth into the surrounding environment, it is to accomplish specific tasks that are integral to the overall mission. One member noted: I haven’t seen a tree, smelled the rain, heard a bird, or felt wind on my skin in four months.
Lest these scientific "missionaries" completely forgo their secular lives,
some non-monastic entertainment is provided. In addition to the “flavorful mush” that they regularly
consume, these would-be astronauts also enjoy “movies, board games and exercise.”
Copyright August 18, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved