I have no room to talk about religion, but I read this article about how the UAE has declared a fatwa warning Muslims against signing up for the hopeful Mars One mission to Mars. So, while I said I have no room to talk about religion with the whole atheist thing, I am going to anyway.
Things I have never thought about, in terms of mixing religion and space flight, come up in this article. For example, how is a Muslim supposed to do their daily prayers when a day on the space station lasts 90 minutes? Dietary requirements are a little easier, since everything is freeze dried, and you can just take food that fits the requirements up to space with you. And the UAE has supported space travel in the past and Aabar Investments is a financial partner in Virgin Galactic.
So, what is the difference with the mission to Mars? Well, it has been deemed a suicide mission and taking one’s own life is against Muslim principals. And with the success rate of the past missions to mars (50% success rate), I can see where people would consider this a suicide mission.
That being said, I’d go. I think the trip would work. I don’t think I would have an option of coming home, but I would go. And even if it were successful, you would start having other issues that would have to be addressed. What would the Muslim prayer ritual go by, the Martian day or the standard earth day.
Now, I could never be part of a religion that dictated what I ate, not that any religion would want me. But a religion dictating that I could not go on a mission to Mars makes me glad that I am still an Atheist.