I thought I would take some time to actually say hello. 7 months after joining I finally decided to actually join in some conversation.
It is OK to have trolled around for awhile. As long as you aren't an ogre ;-)
Here is my connection to a journey to Mars. Back in the 80s, Carl Sagan was delivering a lecture at University of Colorado-Boulder, about the Mars colonization project. My new wife and I went. She is an avid fan of science fiction, and I knew Carl Sagan indirectly, because of watching the original Cosmos series on TV. Alas, he droned on and on for billions and billions of nanoseconds ... and my new wife fell asleep with boredom!