We may not have started humans on the path to Mars yet, but the Red Planet feels closer by the day. There are at least three non-governmental efforts to visit or settle the planet next door while Mars remains the end goal of the 13 agency Global Exploration Roadmap. At the end of February, US congressional member Donna Edwards noted at a hearing on a Mars fly by mission that she’d be happy to leave government for a one way mission to Mars, (although perhaps that’s not too surprising given the current state of the legislature). Just this week, yet another Mars analog study wrapped up in the Utah desert. We study the food, the isolation, the radiation, the microgravity. All that’s missing is the planet.

While the societal compulsion to colonize Mars seems to be gaining strength, the question of “Why?” is sometimes difficult to enunciate. To satisfy the urge to explore? To advance science? Avoid overpopulation? Because it’s there?

Artist Nick Gillin wondered. “‘Why Mars? Why go to a ball of dust?’ I asked several people who signed up for a one way trip to Mars. The answers I got were beyond what words could explain.” So in place of words, he created this video.

This video was brought to our attention by our partners at Moonandback.