Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Now I understand why some in volunteerism think the sun shines out of Uranus

Now here’s a Volunteer role with a difference.

Story courtesy of AFP 18 May

We are trailblazers' say Mars Mission volunteers

MOSCOW — The six men who enlisted to be locked up for over 500 days to simulate a mission to Mars called themselves "trailblazers" Tuesday, saying they were ready to face the strain of the isolation.

"We are trailblazers, but while this is very exciting, it brings a certain responsibility. I echo my teammates in saying we will do everything to be successful," Russian volunteer Mikhail Sinelnikov told reporters in Moscow.

The three Russians, two Europeans and one Chinese national will be sealed away for one-and-a-half years inside a 180-square-metre (1,000-square-feet) spaceship module on the outskirts of Moscow starting on June 3.
"It will be trying for all of us. We cannot see our family, we cannot see our friends, but I think it is all a glorious time in our lives," enthused Chinese participant Wang Yue, who is the youngest volunteer at age 27.
The mission will set the stage for "future generations who will actually travel frequently to Mars," said Italian-Colombian participant Diego Urbina.

The ambitious project, the first full-duration simulated flight to Mars, aims to test one of the biggest unknowns of an eventual manned mission to Mars: the psychological and physical toll on humans.”

With Thanks to Alissa de Carbonnel (AFP)

Now imagine trying to manage these volunteers! Imagine the annual volunteer feedback form. The top ten comments might be:

1. “While I enjoy my volunteering – I am getting a little sick of my fellow volunteers”

2. “I do appreciate the free volunteer lunch but can we please do something about the taste!”

3. “Hey I signed up as an episodic volunteer – why can’t I get out of here – I keep knocking on that door but no one will let me out!”

4. “Nothing happened during national volunteer’s week – what gives?”

5. “Can we please take down the poster that says “ Volunteers – out of this world”

6. “It’s no different from other places I have volunteered – there is no atmosphere!”

7. “In space no one can hear you scream “International Volunteer Managers Day” either”!

8. “Now I understand why some in volunteerism think the sun shines out of Uranus”

9. “ A mars a day helps you volunteer, rest and play”

10. “This is one small step for a volunteer…one giant leap for volunteerism”

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