Ashton Eaton is one of the best Olympic athletes that the United States has had.
Eaton is a two-time decathlon gold medalist and if you need any clarification on exactly what the decathlon is, here’s your clarity per Merriam Webster:
A decathlon is a 10-event athletic contest; specifically a composite contest that consists of the 100-meter, 400-meter, and 1500-meter runs, the 110-meter high hurdles, the javelin and discus throws, shot put, pole vault, high jump, and long jump.
So basically, he is the ultimate athlete. Due to his two gold medals and many world championships, you can now say that he is one of the greatest athletes on the planet.
His list of skills that he is able to perform at a high Running, jumping, throwing, vaulting and now… Space travel.
Yes, you read that right, space travel.
After Eaton announced his retirement from competition after winning the Gold Medal in this past Olympic games in Rio, he would go on to talk about some of his post-retirement ventures and being the first person to go to Mars was one of them. Just look at his Twitter bio.
I’m deciding what to do next. Being the 1st person on Mars would be cool. Other interests are; education, transportation infrastructure, architecture, & energy
As you can see, Mars is a serious goal for him now that he has some time on his hands. He has been consistent in mentioning this potential trip to Mars for some years now.
— Ashton Eaton (@AshtonJEaton) February 23, 2016
— Ashton Eaton (@AshtonJEaton) September 8, 2015
Like I said, Mars is a legitimate option for Eaton and something he definitely wants to take on, but you also have to consider how everyone else around you will be affected.
Eaton has a family now, and that’s a big reason as to why he retired in the first place. He is married to fellow Olympic athlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton, and they are planning to have a child in the near future and start a family. These are the things he has to consider when really thinking about making this unprecedented move. He addressed this exact situation after he announced his retirement:
“That is a pretty serious idea and goal of mine,” Eaton said, “But I have to think about my family, my future, the family I might have one day with kids. And Brianne is not too thrilled about it. Because especially if you are on the first spaceship, there is a good chance you won’t make it. Do I really want to put my family through that?”
It would seem that even he understands the risks that come with doing something of this magnitude, but hypothetically speaking, could Eaton really pull this off?
On the surface, probably not. So much goes into sending anyone to outer space, let alone someone who has never been in a spaceship. But, if I had to choose any non-NASA trained person to take this on, it would be Eaton, being that he can seemingly do everything else.
Do you think Eaton should try to be the first person to land on Mars? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.