Given the opportunity, would you strap yourself inside a steel can attached to humankind’s most powerful rockets, hurtle through the cosmic abyss for seven months towards a cold, desolate rock floating an average 225 million km away, then never return? It’s equal parts bat shit crazy and insanely cool. It’s also astronaut candidate and comedian Josh Richards‘ idea of a getaway.
In 2013, 200,000 Earthlings applied to the not-for-profit Mars One program in hopes of being one of four people selected for 2026’s first human Mars mission. Our Aussie mate Josh has since become 1 of 100 candidates, placing him two rounds shy of a Mars passport stamp. In his comedy show ‘Cosmic Nomad‘, Josh steps you through his thought process and progress on his desire to flee Earth for a life under Mars’ toxic alien atmosphere. From pop science to human faeces to Tinder, Josh’s style is casual larrikin with hints of nerd. You need little convincing that he has the right blend of charisma and collegiality for someone to shack up with him in a school bus-sized tent on an extraterrestrial desert. (Wait until you hear how they plan to insulate their abode from Mars’ harsh radiation.)
Indeed, inhabiting Mars is one of my favourite dinner conversations: would you discard your Earth life only to never return? It’s interesting because it’s insane, but it forces you to usurp your suppressed goals and fantasies. My list involves learning the hang drum and drinking matcha on Antarctica’s Danco Coast. Josh’s list before he leaves Earth is part mantra and sentiment. He’s adopted a bible: Richard Horne’s 101 Things To Do Before You Die, upon which he bases his infectious passion for cosmology and human exploration to both reinvigorate your thirst for adventure and catalyse your interest in science and technology.
If there has ever been a need for flag bearers of science to promote its merits, necessity, and downright awesomeness to the public, it’s now; and Josh manages to do it with poo jokes.
Ate: Astronaut comedy
Drank: Feral Brewing Karma Citra
– Matt M.
Matt M. is a mad scientist by day and beer connoisseur by night. When he’s not devouring a new set of craft beers you will find him in a dankly lit room plotting his approach at the next alcohol-related festival.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Josh Richards.
Photo credit: Josh Richards.