Hassle-free travel trumps round-trip tickets.
HONE LINES at NASA headquarters have been inundated with booking requests ever since two science professors published their vision of manned, one-way flights to Mars free of TSA scans or pat-downs.
Said a NASA spokesman, "What we discovered is that American families would be more than happy to fly one way to Mars, given our hassle-free boarding experience with no TSA screenings. All of our callers said their only additional requirements were a nice meal and an in-flight movie."
Adding to the attractiveness of the Mars flights, said the spokesman, were their "non-stop schedules, spectacular views, and personal, in-suit toilet facilities."
Expense appears to be no object to the Martian colonist wannabes, "which is a good thing," the spokesman admitted, "since each adult fare is estimated to run about $500,000. Although children under five can travel at the amazingly low price of only $9,999.99."
NASA's engineers, inspired by the overwhelming popularity of the Mars missions, have been working around the clock to design and build their first prototype, nicknamed "Mars Express."
"'Express' refers to the non-stop aspect of the journey, not so much to its duration," noted the NASA spokesman. "But remember, you will never, ever be delayed by TSA pat-downs. Delta can't say that."
Given the colonization on Mars of Earthlings who will not be returning, Mark Burnett, producer of such reality hits as Survivor and The Apprentice said "the scenario was too good to pass up," and promised a Martian reality series "as soon as the first shipload arrives."
The only kink to be worked out in the reality-show formula, admitted Burnett, was what to do with contestants who were voted off the show.
"The good news," said Burnett, "is they will never, ever be screened by the TSA."
© 11.24.10 Kate Heidel