I should mention that I have a bet going.
The Catholic church will allow either
1) Priests to marry,
2) Women to become priests.
A human will set foot on Mars.*
*Not human remains, real live person walking around like we did on the moon. The astronaut doesn't have to come back.
The first person to have their claim come true has to visit the other person's house.
The Catholic church is seriously screwed. There are nearly no new priests coming into the system. They have been rocked by sexual scandal after scandal (and will continue to be hit). I really think they will allow priests to marry before they let women become priests but I figured they could go that route. Besides, I think I have slightly less chance of winning so this helps balance the odds out a bit. There is talk that a new Pope would make one of these changes (maybe, big maybe)
There is also talk, however, of going to Mars. Yeah. Right. We haven't gone to the moon in over 25 years. We aren't going to Mars until we go to the moon again. We aren't going to the moon until the ISS is done. The ISS has another 15 years or so. Which makes a trip to the moon 15-20 years away, add 15-25 years to go to Mars, and then a couple more years for the trip itself. I figure I have a minimum of 50 years to win this one. I might well be very dead (or just plain dead).
I think the church has only 25-35 years (one generation) to make some changes or risk facing long-term obliteration. Something's gotta give, Popester. If people land on Mars before the change is made, the Church will be as done as Monarchy. I can live with that. That's almost like winning.
Besides, in either case, I get to visit or be visited by a good friend of mine years down the road. I know my friends will move away, or I will, at one point or another and I will definitely go out of my way to visit them.
We're not going to Mars, though. Not in my lifetime. I think it's cool but cool only gets you to the moon. Mars will require a taikonaut.