Mars Or Bust*

*Most likely bust.

When you read articles on our getting to Mars, there's lots of talk about how we'll live in airtight huts and grow our own food and, now that abundant water has been discovered, simply turn on the tap when we want a big, fresh glass of pure, undiluted H2O.

There Is Water Flowing on Mars As We Speak

But there's one aspect about getting to Mars that the articles never mention:

Actually getting there.

Astronauts Risk Blurred Vision After Months in Space

Trip to Mars Would Turn Astronauts Into Weaklings

Astronauts' Skin Gets Thinner in Space, Scientists Say

FSU study: Apollo Astronauts Had More Heart Disease

Astronauts Going to Mars Could Face Brain Damage, Study Warns

What If You Suddenly Get Sick…in Space?

Space Radiation Could Cause Brain Damage for Mars Astronauts

A review of the movie 'The Martian' also mentions space radiation:

What 'The Martian' Gets Right (and Wrong) About Science

The problem of Martian radiation is another tricky issue. Astronauts would be exposed to two kinds of dangers as they traveled to and from Mars and worked on the surface: solar energetic particles and galactic cosmic rays. A one-way, 180-day trip alone would subject them to 15 times the annual permissible dosage for workers in nuclear power plants.

And we have an update:

Mars Astronauts Face Double the Cancer Risk as Previously Estimated, Says Study

The radiation risk for a manned Mars mission would already be dangerously high, but damage to cells that are next to heavily damaged cells may double the estimated risk.

An important point regarding aspects such as blurry vision and weakening muscles is that NASA has been facing these problems for over half a century, and is no closer to a solution than they've ever been.

In other words, if we put astronauts on Mars today, they'd radio back, "Well, we're all brain-damaged, our hearts are rapidly failing and we'[re blind and can't move our muscles and have already absorbed 20 times the lethal dose of radiation through our ever-thinning skin — but we made it!"

I'm not so sure that's how space exploration is supposed to work.