Note: This is background research for parody/comedy story. So, some below points are not even plausible and I do not care about it. Please do not waste your time commenting and/or posting about plausibility of the setup

You did it. You played ultimate prank on your friend Dave. You and group of your friends got yourself and (especially) Dave drunk. When Dave passed out, you snuck him inside the freaking rocket scheduled to send first humans to the Mars!

Speak of luck of drunken guys, right?

Thing is, the situation got real south for Dave. To hit the optimal launch window and to avoid bad weather, NASA rescheduled the flight 4 hours earlier and as everyone was hurrying up to actually launch, everyone overlooked one extra drunken guy on board.

(Before commenting, read the bold text above please)

Long story short, Dave wakes up at moment when its too late to turn the rocket around. Now, for the background research:

Group of six highly trained astronauts is stranded on space ship together with Dave, who is drunk, hungover and has no freaking clue about anything even remotely connected with rockets and/or space.

Now the background research questions I really care about:

  • Are they going to survive the trip to Mars and back? (Assume length of flight 6 months one way, 14 days on the ground and 6 months fly back)
  • Can the Astronauts train Dave to do at least something benefitial during the trip?
  • If yes, what is the funniest possible job to assign to Dave in this setup?
  • Is there is someone to be fired about this massive security breach? Who is? (Assume the start is happening "tomorrow", in current day, current Earth setup)
  • Is it even remotely plausible that Dave will become first (drunken) man on Mars?
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    $\begingroup$ Well, apart from being drunk at the time of boarding, we don't really know much about Dave. So, he can probably be trained to do something; after all, they've got massive amounts of time with nothing else to do. Which (of course) leads to the obvious answer to the last point; no, Dave won't be drunk by the time he reaches Mars so he won't be the first drunken man on Mars, but he's probably the least qualified person to ever get there. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B II
    May 23 '18 at 11:49
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    $\begingroup$ I suggest you stick to one main question. Delete the security breach and the remotely plausible ones. For an untrained person to be the first to step on Mars needs a large story line to make that at least plausible, and we're not here to write your story for you. $\endgroup$
    – user3106
    May 23 '18 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ Voting to close as too broad. There are five unrelated questions here: three are story-based, one is opinion-based, one has a trivial answer. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    May 23 '18 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ Highlighted text: Ignore Reality. Question and tags: [reality-check]. These are contradictory, please make up your mind which you want. $\endgroup$ May 23 '18 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ "what is the funniest possible job to assign to Dave in this setup?" This reads very much like "I had an idea for a funny story; please give me the funny parts". $\endgroup$ May 23 '18 at 14:13

Maybe first drunken man to leave earth orbit (although there could be debate about that with post-soviet countries) but not drunken man on Mars. He would sober up before they get there.

They would probably survive that trip (assuming that food was prepared for 5 people but with a little excess on), But they would need some extra rations on Mars or shorten their stay there.

The jobs that Dave are good for: being a living experiment. He has no training, he's not mentally or physically prepared for the trip and he cannot distinguish a sonic screwdriver from a Phillips. That's Lieutenant Phillips to you.
The thing is that the astronauts and control think that no one else knows about Dave (because Dave doesn't remember the night out). So they give the him stupidest, riskiest jobs that they always wanted to test but never had a "spare".

About security - everyone who had "security" badge at the time would be fired. But for comedy relief that would be good spoof of "you have 24 hours to solve this case Kiminsky or give your badge back". And the security would search for those who enabled Dave to get into rocket.


I opt for a deceased Dave leaving LEO and probably being the first corpse ever sea buried in outer space.


A rocket lift off is a rather brusque event. Anything which is not properly fastened to keep its position is going to bounce around and hit hard on the surfaces. Imagine walking in a 747 during take off or landing. A rocket take off is way more brusque and harsh.

That is already hard to cope while sober. Dave is drunk, so at best with slower reactions. He won't be able to protect himself with the basic defense mechanism our body develops while growing up. And Dave won't have a designated seat where he will be fastened. He will be smashed around, defenseless or even unconscious.

Now let's assume he miraculously manages to survive lift off and reaches LEO. Space sickness is common, and being drunk makes it worse. When you puke in microgravity the puke will float around your head, and if you have nobody to help you because you are unconscious you will drown in your own cloud of puke.

So we end up a corpse (either dead by traumatic impact or by drowning) which will be rotting in the 6 months it takes to reach Mars.

Decomposition consumes Oxygen and such usage is not kept into account in designing the life support systems on the space ship. So, once the crew finds the corpse, their only choice will be to sea bury it into the outer space.

Put the corpse in the load lock, vent it and wave goodbye to Dave's body.

Call it Dave in the sky with diamonds, maybe, or Space Davidity.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I hadn't even thought of the effects of launch acceleration on a drunk, semi-conscious and most importantly unsecured Dave, they'll have to mop what's left of the poor guy off the bulkheads. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 23 '18 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for meeting the expectations of the reality-check tag. $\endgroup$ May 23 '18 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ Couldn't they put him into an airlock and keep the airlock closed until they arrived? It would probably modify their trajectory if they suddenly opened the ship and vented air into a sideways direction? Then Dave could be the first man arriving drunk to Mars, provided we count dead bodies as people. $\endgroup$ May 23 '18 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sure his friends would have found some appropriately comic location to strap him in! Perhaps the loo or one of the sleeping chambers? $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    May 23 '18 at 21:18

Dave's very survival, and that of the rest of the crew, depends on the margin of safety of the life-support rig on board. Dave, as an average guy, is probably slightly more of a strain on that system than the rest of the crew, and at minimum while he's breathing he's a 17% extra burden on the Oxygen regeneration cycle of the vessel. Margin of safety on most modern engineered systems is 10%, so if NASA didn't build in any extra margin of safety everyone is unconscious in a few hours and dead shortly thereafter.

That's the only part of your six (6!?) question mini-marathon I'm going to answer because none of them even have any bearing on the outcome of the others, and six questions is this site doing all your work as the author and that's not on.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Somebody on Earth is certainly gonna have to figure out how to get a square CO2 filter into a round hole. $\endgroup$
    – SGR
    May 23 '18 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ @SGR And do it really fast before the engineer passes out, but I think L.Dutch's answer really makes my point sort of moot, unless Dave is far luckier than he should be. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 23 '18 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Ironically, if he remained sloshed the whole trip, they'd have a better chance at survival. Oxygen intake is based on metabolic rate, which drops while you're asleep (more as a result of inactivity than the sleep state) $\endgroup$ May 23 '18 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Punintended True I hadn't thought of that, would say, anesthetizing him for the whole journey, get his metabolism low enough to avoid that 10% threshold I wonder. You wouldn't realistically be able to do so but I wonder if it would work if you could. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 23 '18 at 17:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Punintended Personally I'd find a way to chuck him out as soon as I found him, and claim he was already dead by the time we realised he was there but I'm not a nice person. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 23 '18 at 18:05
  • Can the Astronauts train Dave to do at least something beneficial during the trip? If yes, what is the funniest possible job to assign to Dave in this setup?

My suggestion here would be toilet cleaning, for the possibility of floating waste? It is probably unlikely (as I know that you are strapped to the toilet) but I don't see a reason why there would be absolutely no chance of floating waste on a space toilet. He could catch it in a device similar to a butterfly net with a bucket on the end. However someone more knowledgeable on space toilets might have more information on this sort of thing.

  • Is it even remotely plausible that Dave will become first (drunken) man on Mars?

After that amount of time it's unlikely that the alcohol involved at the time of the prank would still be in his system. However, if he had somehow drunkenly stowed more alcohol onto the ship with him, it's possible he may have drank some before landing.


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