Martian countdown: One-way ticket to Red Planet in 2023
1 Jun, 2012 10:41
The Dutch have long fought with the sea to acquire lands. Now they seem to have decided that it is easier to send people to Mars than to search for more space here on the solid earth. Meet Mars One, an ambitious plan to set up a human colony in 2023.
The team behind Mars One unveiled an astonishing plan to establish a human settlement on the red planet in just a bit more than a decade. The most peculiar part of the plan is that volunteers will have to enjoy their Martian chronicles for the rest of their life. So if you have a person you owe a lot of money or may be your roommate or boyfriend/girlfriend is too intrusive – there is an option! Just hurry up to tell them about this unique opportunity to remain etched forever in the history of mankind.But you might be better off not warning them that showering is not an option during the trip.The problem with flights to Mars has always primarily been that it was unclear how to bring the crew back. Those behind Mars One have solved the problem in a rather simple way: the volunteer crew will emigrate there.Organizers of this safari admit that sustaining human life on Mars is no trivial feat, but they believe it is far easier and safer than bringing the crew back to Earth.The first portion of four wannabe Martians will arrive after a seven-month trip. This has been imitated by space bureaus on Earth, but never performed in reality. The astronauts will spend those seven months together in a small space – much smaller than the home base will be – devoid of luxury or frills.The future Martians will have tinned food only, they will experience constant noise from the ventilators and equipment and a regimented routine of thee hours of exercise a day to keep up muscle mass. But physical trials will not be the most serious problem – the crew will also face severe psychological problems. Last year the Russian-led Mars-500 experiment with six volunteers who spent 520 days isolated in their mock spaceship, simulating a trip to the Red Planet and back, proved that staying in a metal box for several months causes severe stress. Once the crew arrives at their new cozy planet, they will begin making use of their spacious living units; over 50 square meters per person, and a total of more than 200 square meters. Within the settlement they would have inflatable components which contain bedrooms, working areas, a living room and a “plant production unit”, where they will grow greenery. They will also be able to shower as normal, prepare fresh food (that they themselves harvested) in the kitchen, wear regular clothes, and in essence lead typical day-to-day lives.After the household is arranged they will explore the territory and wait to see who will make a visit first: colleagues from the Earth who are supposed to join the colony every two years – or maybe some other inquisitive guests from neighboring galaxies.Given that man has only made it to the moon so far – and not at all in the last 40 years – the project is very ambitious.The company says it has contacted established aerospace suppliers from around the world that can supply all the mission components, and received letters of interest from these companies.The founder of Mars One, Bas Lansdorp, says the project will be privately funded and the money will be raised by creating the "biggest media event ever."It promises to be the most attractive Reality Show. According to the plan, the entire world will take part in the event. People from across the globe will be able to watch and help decide as the teams of settlers are selected.The viewers will follow the astronauts’ training and preparation for the mission. Moreover the founders of the project promise they would somehow broadcast the settling on Mars once the astronauts arrived. The colonizers are even supposed to share their experiences as they build their new homes, conduct experiments and explore. So if you still have something that attracts you here on Earth, you can watch the cosmic adventure from your sofa enjoying some pizza.