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Competition: compose the first sentence to be uttered by an astronaut who will land on Mars

The purpose of the competition, which ended at the end of last week, was to let people think about a manned flight to Mars

Astronaut on Mars - illustration It may not take them years, but the race began this week - in a competition to determine what will be the first words spoken by an astronaut on Mars.
As part of the UN Space Week, the International Maritime Society presented the "The First Word" competition. The purpose of the competition is to let people think about a future landing on Mars and maybe even come up with good ideas of what to say from there. The competition, by the way, is already over.
There are very few phrases that have a universal meaning, says Adrian Hoon, a member of the UK Red Society which coordinates the competition. "The first words will have great power".
Among the ideas that flowed into the competition, Hoon says, ranging from sentences reminiscent of Neil Armstrong's phrase "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" to quotes from major historical events. Among those looking for inspiration in Armstrong, the first astronaut on Mars was suggested to say "the giant step continues".

One of the bidders entered several proposals on the competition website, including "a big step to... what does it matter" and "who's there", after which static noise appears. Another proposal was "I claim ownership of this planet for the Disney company". "It's very easy to come up with funny things," Hoon says.
The result was a wing of humorous suggestions to prevent the pranksters from taking over the competition.
Among the proposals for the competition, the prize for which is, by the way, 300 dollars, there were also proposals from politicians, scientists and science fiction writers. Kim Stanley Robinson explains: “I will never dispute the words of my hero, John Boone (from the Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars series), that his first words about Mars were. "If I remember correctly, we are here."

Categories include historical quotes, humorous quotes, original quotes, five-word sentences and out-of-competition suggestions. The last category includes placing quotes that have already been said in the context of the Mars landing. For example, Oliver Twist's request: Please, sir, may I have more?"

In addition to the fun of it, the competition is designed to allow people to think seriously about a manned journey to Mars, Hoon says, "At some point, humans may be standing there, and they're going to have to say something."

To the competition site

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