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    Best place to retire: Florida, Costa Rica or Mars?

    Space travel at risk of decreased vision an unacceptable trade-off

     

    Elon Musk—the billionaire tech entrepreneur—asserts “the future of humanity is going to bifurcate. Either it’s going to become multiplanetary, or it’s going to remain confined to one planet and eventually there’s going to be an extinction event.”

    Possible catalysts for causing our extinction, he thinks, includes Iranian nukes, engineered viruses, or a wayward asteroid.1 Probably some would add food from Chipotle to this list. But whatever the exact precipitating event, Musk has planned a solution. He will retire on Mars.

     

    Unusual retirement choice

    Mars differs from Florida in many ways, though it is known the indigenous inhabitants of our neighbor planet have the same unearthly green hue as the golf pants of many Florida retirees.

    Musk is considered a charismatic visionary by many, who think he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to, including building internet companies, electric vehicles, and space rockets that land on barges in the ocean.

    But there are some major hurdles for Musk’s Mars project. One of particular interest to ophthalmologists is the risk to the vision of those who are exposed to the weightlessness of space for prolonged periods. A recent study seemed to confirm the problem relates to intracranial pressure.2

     

    Peter J. McDonnell, MD
    He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of ...

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