Space cadets in Washington for one-way ticket to Mars

Aug 04, 2013
Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp holds a press conference in New York, April 22, 2013. Around 40 volunteers from thousands who applied for a one-way ticket to Mars gathered in the US capital Saturday to hear from the man behind plans to colonize the Red Planet.

Around 40 volunteers from thousands who applied for a one-way ticket to Mars gathered in the US capital Saturday to hear from the man behind plans to colonize the Red Planet.

Bas Lansdorp, a Dutch , plans to establish a permanent base on Mars in a mission he hopes will take off in 2022 if he can find the necessary $6 billion.

Would-be travellers on the mission—named Mars One—would never return to Earth.

"There's no return mission," Mars One chief Lansdorp said at George Washington University.

"That sounds very dramatic, but don't forget that in the history of our planet, people have always been going places, saying goodbye to their families for ever, and going there and living there.

"It's just part of what humans do, and I think the next logical step is Mars."

Other space agencies such as NASA have expressed about the viability of Lansdorp's plan, saying the technology to establish a human colony on Mars does not exist.

Mars One, which is registered as a non-profit organization, says on its website the mission is a decade-long endeavor, with funding intended to come from the global audience of an interactive, televised broadcast of every aspect of the mission.

"We are not quite there," Lansdorp said of the funding requirements, refusing to say how much has been raised but noting that more than 78,000 people have applied to join the mission, becoming .

In April, Mars-One said that the first four volunteers should land on Mars in 2023 after a seven-month journey. New crews would be sent every two years, according to Lansdorp.

Among those gathered in Washington on Saturday was Christine Rambo, a 38-year-old student librarian from New Jersey, who described Mars as the "next great age of exploration."

"It is like Columbus discovering America," she said. "It is so exciting and such a great achievement, I want to be a part of it."

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User comments : 31

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verkle
1.8 / 5 (6) Aug 04, 2013
This flight is so risky I would place my bets that if a group does fly to Mars, they either will die on the way there, or else will perish with a year of landing.

It's like committing suicide.

Humpty
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 04, 2013
Wow... a few desiccated corpses in an airless dust bowl....

Remembered by who exactly, what for and for how long?

Why don't the stupid fucks take a hike in to the Sahara?

Saves everyone's time and money.
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (12) Aug 04, 2013
This flight is so risky I would place my bets that if a group does fly to Mars, they either will die on the way there, or else will perish with a year of landing.

It's like committing suicide.


Here's to hoping OBAMA! and his peers of ilk in Congress sign up!
rug
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2013
People use to think the world was flat and said you couldn't sail around the world. Then people said you couldn't fly around the world. Then people said you can't get human beings into space or get to the moon. Now people say you can't send humans to Mars. I'm not swayed by the doubters as they have always been wrong before. Having a colony on Mars would be our real first step to space travel. Making us a multiplanet race instead of just a multinational race. In the grand scheme of the universe or universes, whatever the case may be, we are nothing. Our lives mean nothing, and our accomplishments to date are nothing. Maybe, just maybe starting colony on Mars will make more people stop and realize the problems between nations are nothing. Zoom your view out from your normal scope and you will see the truth. We are nothing special. I would be happy to take a one way trip to Mars for just this reason.
rug
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 05, 2013
Here's to hoping OBAMA! and his peers of ilk in Congress sign up!


They don't fight the wars, what makes you think they will travel to space? Politicians are the last thing we need in space.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2013
A quote from the 3rd episode of the television show after the crew lands on Mars:

(keep in mind, this is the guy who started Big Brother)

After the commercial break, we'll be finding out which of the three survivors will be voted out of the habitat, thanks to you, the viewers' text votes from Sunday's show. With life support failing, only two can stay, so stay tuned till after the break, and don't miss the eviction ceremony.


Trying to do this like a reality show will be a train wreck. There's no way for these people to stay 'pretty' like the wanna-be porn stars from Big Brother or Survivor. I don't see how you can have any sort of competition among the crew, so the only way to keep millions of people watching is by playing up the dangers and having some close calls to thrill people. The trouble with that is that emergency events in space tend to kill everybody. I can't think of any space accident where only part of the crew died.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2013
People use to think the world was flat and said you couldn't sail around the world. Then people said you couldn't fly around the world. Then people said you can't get human beings into space or get to the moon. Now people say you can't send humans to Mars


Sure you can, but in all of your examples, there were many people killed trying before anyone actually did it. Is there any reason you believe this will be different? You think the first try will be 100% successful? Keep in mind that in this case anything less than 100% success pretty much means they're all dead.
rug
3 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2013
Nope, I don't think they will succeed on the first try, but that shouldn't stop us from trying. You never know, they just might be successful.

I have no doubt that people are going to die either on Mars or in transit. That is what it cost to be on the frontier. Looking back at history, many people have died trying new things. How many of these people have their names in our history books?

Would you rather go out trying something that has never been done or to wait for old age to catch you? I choose something new.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (3) Aug 06, 2013
Nope, I don't think they will succeed on the first try, but that shouldn't stop us from trying. You never know, they just might be successful


Oh don't get me wrong. I didn't say people shouldn't do it. People will keep trying until it is common practice, just like seafaring or flight. It's just going to take time, effort and lives. I think it's important to express the difficulty from the start, so that there's not a public whiplash when the inevitable accidents happen. People need to expect realistic risks, so they aren't shocked to the point that they withdraw funding or freeze the program (space shuttle?). The astronauts know the risks, and they are glad to take them in exchange for the experience.

I wonder what the first multi-million dollar for-profit industry on another planet will be?
rug
1.7 / 5 (3) Aug 06, 2013
Glad to hear it, I was starting to think you were taking after cantdrive haha

I'm thinking the first for profit on another planet will be O2 production, water gathering/production, farming. I'm sure it will be something that is an absolute local need. That does seem to the be way it works when we move to new areas.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 06, 2013
I have no doubt that people are going to die either on Mars or in transit. That is what it cost to be on the frontier.

I'm not really sure what will be achieved by this. Take a few more years and get it right (including a potential return ticket)
I'm thinking the first for profit on another planet will be O2 production, water gathering/production, farming.

The leisure to do anything 'for profit' on another planet is likely not to exist for quite a while. Survival necessities will trump profit motives (and by the time we get numbers anywhere the 'profit' idea will be a thing of the past in any case.)
cantdrive85
1.7 / 5 (9) Aug 06, 2013
I wonder what the first multi-million dollar for-profit industry on another planet will be?

It'll be a saloon/whorehouse, complete with a player piano.
nowhere
5 / 5 (3) Aug 06, 2013
I have no doubt that people are going to die either on Mars or in transit. That is what it cost to be on the frontier.

I'm not really sure what will be achieved by this. Take a few more years and get it right (including a potential return ticket)

while it is probably a good idea to wait at least a few more decades, the wait and do it right argument doesn't go away, it's always the case that we can wait a bit longer learn a bit more and do it that much better. In most cases we can do it better only because we learnt so much from having tried it already.
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2013
I'm not really sure what will be achieved by this. Take a few more years and get it right


Even if the time is taken, people are still going to die. It's a fact of life and a fact of exploration. Accidents happen, hardware failures occur, and there is always human error. No matter how much thought you put into something or how much you prepare Murphy can still get you.

The leisure to do anything 'for profit' on another planet is likely not to exist for quite a while. Survival necessities will trump profit motives


Think about it this way. One person figures out water, another figures out O2, another figures out growing food, and another comes up with something no one thought about. Sounds like the beginnings of a barter system to me.

I'm sure there will be a share and share alike in the beginning but as soon as the processes get to a point where the people can spend time thinking about other things than survival favors will likely start leading to businesses.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2013
I'm thinking the first for profit on another planet will be O2 production, water gathering/production, farming. I'm sure it will be something that is an absolute local need. That does seem to the be way it works when we move to new areas


Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Something like a fronteer general store to service the other people who are there. Maybe some kind of entertainment venue like an old west saloon too. There'll be a huge demand for people up there to get out of their habitats for a while and meet people they don't see every day. Another possibility is building and maintaining infrastructure, similar to the old west railroad tychoons (imagining an over-land rail network, along with pipelines and power and communications cable networks). Basic structure construction and tunnel excavation might be big too. It really just depends on what the needs turn out to be. Who knows?
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Aug 07, 2013
One person figures out water, another figures out O2, another figures out growing food,

There's a few very fundamental dieffrences to 'Earth economics' here.
1) The means by which these things are realized were commonly owned items (i.e. no one built their business using their own tools/means and there is therefore no 'investment' possible by others by handing someone tools/means to realize a project out of their own stash. No one has an own stash when coming to Mars. There are no materials around 'for the taking' (like lumber, soil, etc that you can forge into tools without already having tools )

2) If the supplier and customer can't agree on a price the customer dies (and the supplier makes no sale whatsoever). On Earth you can agree not to use a service and that's OK.

Unless, of course, we're dealing with fully privately funded bases fom Earth (in which case anyone on Mars will simply be slaves - as they will own nothing and be fully dependent on that initial investment)
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 07, 2013
1) The means by which these things are realized were commonly owned items (i.e. no one built their business using their own tools/means and there is therefore no 'investment' possible by others by handing someone tools/means to realize a project out of their own stash. No one has an own stash when coming to Mars. There are no materials around 'for the taking' (like lumber, soil, etc that you can forge into tools without already having tools )


When someone comes along and figures out a way to do it better, faster, and cheaper then you have a product to sell. If they can supply more than the "commonly owned" method there will be a market.

2) If the supplier and customer can't agree on a price the customer dies (and the supplier makes no sale whatsoever). On Earth you can agree not to use a service and that's OK.


Once there is a colony there who's to say there wont be competitors? Or you could use the "commonly owned" methods and get your own.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Aug 08, 2013
I was thinking in terms of employees wanting to spend their personal money. People will always seek a better standard of living, and a job with that kind of risk and a very high skill requirement should pay very well. So you'll have people with lots of money and nowhere to spend it. I don't see NASA spending money to launch luxury and entertainment items or build entertainment venues.

Heck, there's even the possiblity of billionair tourists. How much would such a person pay for exotic experiences or goods?
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Aug 08, 2013
I don't really see people who think in terms of 'job' or 'pay' to be pioneers.
(Certainly I don't think the concept of 'job' or 'pay' have much of a future anymore - given the rise in distributed/ubiquitous manufacture and energy production... even on Earth)
rug
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2013
I don't really see people who think in terms of 'job' or 'pay' to be pioneers.


Then you done see Lewis and Clark, Christopher Columbus, or Roald Amundsen to be pioneers? Interesting......

There are three reasons why people will give up everything and move to someplace knowing they will never return.

Fear of Life
Money
Power

Oddly enough the more money you have the more power you have. I think your kidding your self it you think we are done with jobs and money. Most of the world seems to judge your worth by how much you make. Hence the US is currently like a bad place to be. It's because we are broke. In debt to our eyeballs.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 09, 2013

Then you done see Lewis and Clark, Christopher Columbus, or Roald Amundsen to be pioneers? Interesting......

They were explorers - not pioneers. Pioneers build stuff.
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2013
They were explorers - not pioneers. Pioneers build stuff.


Alright, what about all the people that ran west (US) for the gold rush?
Maybe the huge amount of people that went silicone valley for the tech boom?

They all built stuff and it was all for money.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2013
The gold rush people had an economy to work in (where goods were being produced and sold). That isn't there on Mars. You can't go to a general store and buy (or sell) goods (or farm food out of nothing for that matter).
There's no supply and demand chain there. There is bare knuckles demand and either that is met or people die. Holding on to some wares because "the price isn't right" will just lead to death (in that case probably of the guy locking needed goods away)
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2013
You know, I would really like to believe you. I would like to think the human race is more idealistic then that but the reality is as a race we let people die all the time because they can't afford to pay for food, heat, air conditioning, medicine, clean water, and any number of other things that someone may need or die.

When we let people die on Earth because they don't have money. It proves to me that we are nothing more then greedy animals trying to get more then our share of everything. I don't think that will change when we go to Mars, but I hope it does.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2013
Maybe we aren't talking about the same scenario here?

I'm thinking of a time when there might be dozens of different research stations, prospecting missions, technicians maintaining robotic mining operations, etc (on the moon first, then Mars? Maybe?). Each of these facilities would be built and owned by governments, universities, big companies, etc. They would hire people to work at these facilities, just like the people who operate and maintain the ISS today. They would each plan to ship their own supplies, or contract with someone to do it for them, just as we do with the ISS today. However, there's no reason a third party couldn't enter the picture with an offer of goods or services that's cheaper. I think the first big money that's actually made in space will be based on a service contract. For example, a lunar retreat for workers, paid for as a benefit by their employer (NASA? SpaceX?), but run by a contractor like Biggelow.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2013
When we let people die on Earth because they don't have money. It proves to me that we are nothing more then greedy animals

I'm not really too heavy on any moral or ethical principle when it comes to my argument. It's more on the lines of: explorers, settlers and pioneers - until now - have always gone somewhere where there was already a fully formed and, for all intents and purposes, perfect environment for them:
Available food, available water, air to breathe, suitable temperature, gravity and radiation ranges. If no food then at least viable soil to grow food in or even animals to hunt and live off.

All of these give someone the abilty to manufacture things (since they are basically available 'for free' wherever he is and just need to be shaped). You can base an economy off of exploiting free resources.

Off Earth none of that is available. Anything and everything we need we have to bring along. That does not allow for an economy.
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2013
But they don't have to bring it all along. Yes, to get started they will have to take a good amount. After the initial start of a full blown colony on Mars most if not all the resources will be local. Martian water and Martian soil can grow food and maybe even make a little O2 while they are at it. Split the H and the O2 and they will have fuel for whatever they need. Mars has many of the same resources Earth has just have to find other way to get them is all.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Aug 12, 2013
I think that's fantastically optimistic, to the point of being naive. There are all kinds of things that you take for granted that they wouldn't be able to make. I don't think you realize the amount of horizontal infrastructure it takes to make basic tools and equipment. A simple air or water filter, for example. There's tons of things the colony would consume that they could not produce there, even if they had all the raw materials piled up in bins next to them. Try making unsulated wire, or a lightbulb, for example, or a computer chip, or a hard drive, or a tire, or a space suit boot. Without petroleum to make plastics, you're really in a pickle. Reliable energy on Mars would be problematic too. Solar is out of the question due to sand storms, there's not enough wind, no geothermal, no hydro, no hydrocarbons (and no oxygen to burn them even if you had oil or coal). Nuclear is about the only long term option, but that's technically challenging (no air to cool your heat exchangers).
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 12, 2013
I never said it would be easy, but once there is a full colony many of the basic needs can be met self sufficiently. It may take a long time but I have no doubt one day a Mars colony will be completely self sufficient.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Aug 13, 2013
I never said it would be easy, but once there is a full colony many of the basic needs can be met self sufficiently. It may take a long time but I have no doubt one day a Mars colony will be completely self sufficient


Perhaps, but I think energy will always limit Mars. There's a limit on what you can do based on energy. You cannot grow food any faster than your supply of energy allows, and sunlight on Mars is less than half what we have here, even without sandstorms blocking out the sun for weeks or months.

If I had to make a prediction, I think the moon will be self-sustaining long before Mars. The moon is much more desirable than Mars in a number of ways. There's no atmospheric friction, very small escape velocity, areas of both permanent sunlight and darkness (sometimes located right next to each other, which should make really cool energy solutions possible.) Both Mars and the moon have dust problems though, so we've gotta figure out how to work around that.
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 13, 2013
I think the moon would be more limited to have a fully self sustainable colony then Mars. Yes, you have energy, and some water (not a lot comparatively), but that is really about it. There isn't a whole lot to work with on the Moon. Mars could possibly be terraformed, maybe. The moon has no chance of being terraformed.

Both the moon and Mars have their problems and possibilities. Maybe neither could have sustainable colonies. Maybe both can/will. What it comes down to, we simply don't know what the future could hold. Maybe someone will figure out the wormhole thing. Then we can travel anywhere. Who knows what we would find then.

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