Space Cadets line up for one-way Mars trip

Sep 09, 2013
Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp holds a press conference to announce the launch of astronaut selection for a Mars space mission project, in New York on April 22, 2013.

More than 200,000 people from 140 countries have applied to go to Mars and never return, the group behind an ambitious venture to colonize the inhospitable red planet said Monday.

Bas Lansdorp, a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur, 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.

One in four of the 202,586 applicants for the one-way trip are Americans, said Mars One, the non-profit group which initiated its hunt for "would-be Mars settlers" in April.

There are also hopefuls from India (10 percent), China (six percent) and Brazil (five percent), among other countries, it said.

By 2015, Mars One expects put up to 10 four-member teams through , with the first of those teams reaching to Mars in 2023 on a high-risk journey that would take seven months to complete.

If they survive the trip, the human Martians will have to deal with minus 55 degrees C (minus 67 F) temperatures in a desert-like atmosphere that consists mainly of carbon dioxide.

They'll also have to consent to being observed back on Earth full-time as stars of a reality TV show that would help cover expenses.

The project has the support of Gerard 't Hooft, the Dutch joint winner of the Nobel prize for physics in 1999.

"The long term aim is to have a lasting colony," said 't Hooft in New York in April. "This expansion will not be easy. How soon that will be accomplished is anyone's guess."

A general view captured from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on January 27, 2013.

Space agencies including NASA have expressed skepticism about the viability of Lansdorp's plan, saying the technology to establish a human colony on Mars does not exist.

Mars One says on its website that 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.

So far, there have only been unmanned missions to Mars undertaken by NASA, which has signaled its intent to send there within 20 years.

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axemaster
3.5 / 5 (4) Sep 09, 2013
It's going to be terribly disappointing, and a serious black mark on human history, if THIS is how we first set foot on another planet.
Milou
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 09, 2013
Viewers are not going to stick around for long to watch stupidity play itself out on Mars (reality TV). Sponsors are going to pull out of the advertisement, and funding will dry out. Good luck alone on Mars. Can't fix stupidity. Send Bas Lansdorp, Dutch engineer and entrepreneur on his own. If he is so smart he will figure out how to live there with nothing.
no fate
not rated yet Sep 10, 2013
6 months on the ISS left Hadfield in a severely deteriorated physical state. Weeks of rehab required to re-adjust to earth gravity. We aren't just talking about musclulature and bone density, all vital organs showed diminished capacity. So instead of 6 months in a low earth orbit it will be 7 in interplanetary space with the requirement of constructing a base camp capable of prolonged operation upon touchdown...

It's a death trip unless Bas has medical tech that I seriously doubt he does.
sirchick
3 / 5 (4) Sep 10, 2013
It's going to be terribly disappointing, and a serious black mark on human history, if THIS is how we first set foot on another planet.


Unless we send miley cyrus or justin beiber, then its a victory in my book.
krundoloss
1 / 5 (3) Sep 10, 2013
Its amazing that so many people would risk all they have just to make history, yet no big companies or governments are wanting to take part. Why doesn't the world just form one big space program? There is only one space, and if we joined together it would be beneficial to everyone. It would also spread the cost across many economies.

Yes, I do agree, that it is very likely that this will fail at some point before people touch down on Mars. And, really, why go if it is a complete suicide mission? Cant we dig an underground habitat next to ice or something?
alq131
1 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2013
Well, we have to start somehow, and while there might be high ratings if everyone dies immediately, it certainly wouldn't keep the sponsors which is what the program needs to be funded. So, they're probably serious about making it work. Additionally, it probably won't be a bunch of Jersey Housewives or Pawn Stars making the trip...it would probably be professional scientists, engineers, etc. So, only as much "reality" as there is in any high stakes adventure.

And NASA saying that the colonization tech doesn't exist is bogus. I'm sure that Europeans said it would be impossible to colonize America because they could only carry so many barrels of limes to ward off scurvy....oh, what happens then to all those colonists, they must die, so why go? Well we know we are smart and resourceful as a species. A resupply plan that is consistent, and some ability to manufacture locally on Mars (distillers, refractory furnaces, 3d printers, gas compessors and separators, etc) can go a long way.
jscroft
1 / 5 (3) Sep 11, 2013
Yah let's put a bunch of politicians in charge. That's ALWAYS a recipe for success.