The Mars Bug Tech Central Station

Imagine that you’ve got a lot of money. No, more than that. A lot of money. Now imagine that you want to go to Mars. Oh, you already do? Me too. Then imagine that with your money you’ve built a spaceship — perhaps along the lines of Bob Zubrin’s Mars Direct mission architecture, though for our purposes the details don’t matter. If you prefer, you may substitute antigravity or the Mannschenn Drive as your mechanism of choice. Regardless of technology, you’ve got a craft that will take you to Mars and back, in one piece, along with sufficient supplies on the outbound leg and some samples when you come back. You’re going to find out firsthand what Viking couldn’t settle: whether there’s life on Mars. You’ll also do some research aimed at laying the groundwork for Martian colonization. Are you ready to go? Not quite. You see, there might be life on Mars. Well, duh. That’s what you’re going to find out, isn’t it? Yes. But if you find it’s there, then what?