Re: Would you delay ER to work on Mars?
As someone who actually works at JPL, the answer is a definite yes. People work for a lot of reasons, most people on flight projects have a deep regard for the work they do and the limited opportunities (launch windows to Mars are every two years), funding can be VERY hard to come by and I have never seen anyone bail at critical times. There are a bunch of people with 40 to 50 years service, you just can't get the geeks to leave.
Now, when a project ends there is a frenzy to find another project or job somewhere. Then being retirement eligible comes in very handy for stress control.
Old men ought to be explorers