A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

By Nina Pajak

Quick question for married folks: Do you love your spouse?

Quick! Answer!

You said yes, right? Without hesitation?

Of course, that doesn’t mean without qualifications (Yes, except when he/she leaves his/her socks/dishes/half-empty soda cans/old newspapers lying around. Ha ha!).

Now here’s another question, and you have to answer just as quickly: Would you spend 501 straight days in an RV with your spouse?

And one more: how about if that RV was actually hurtling through outer space, leaving absolutely no possibility of roadside stops during which you can walk off some steam or take a nap while the other one eats a cheeseburger?

Well. Er. I, uh. . . no. Does that make me a bad wife? I would argue it makes me a good wife, frankly. A great wife, even! How many husbands want their wives to want to be entombed together with no chance of separation for almost a year and a half? Well, at least one, according to coverage on CNN.com.

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I should back up. The Inspiration Mars Foundation wants to send one man and one woman (“to represent humanity”) on a space mission that will pass within 100 miles of Mars. According to the group’s website, the Foundation is a non-profit organization formed with a strong belief in “the exploration of space as a catalyst for growth, national prosperity, knowledge and global leadership. History has shown that strong nations reap these benefits when they boldly follow a path rooted in curiosity and guided by technological innovation.” They describe the mission thusly:

“This mission will be a flyby passing within 100 miles of the surface of Mars. Additional maneuvers will be minor course corrections only, using the gravitational influence of Mars to “slingshot” the vehicle onto a return course to Earth. An inflatable habitat module will be deployed after launch and detached prior to re-entry.”

They’re seeking a middle-aged married couple, because apparently that demographic tends to be most stable, according to studies. Evidently, those studies did not poll the divorce lawyers based in the tri-state area.

Anyhoo, back to my original point. There are already a number of applicants for this mission, despite the fact that it has not officially been put into action and would not launch until 2018. Among them, a real-life married couple: “Jane Poynter, president of Paragon Space Development Corp., which is developing technologies for the mission,” and her husband, the CEO of the company. They’ve already lived in a Biosphere whoseewhatsit, and apparently they really like each other a lot. Kudos to you, Mr. and Mrs. Crazypants. Mazel tov and I wish you well. When you get back from your trip around the galaxy, perhaps you should consider becoming professional marriage counselors.

Also, just me or does the inflatable habitat module sound way fun? If we could test that puppy out without hurtling through space in a tiny bus, I’m game.

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