Want to make Columbus, Magellan and Marco Polo seem like they were playing in a kiddie pool? Apply and be one of the first people to set foot on the planet Mars. Monday, an organization called Mars One announced they are taking applications to send people to Mars… permanently.
Mars One is a Dutch company whose sole purpose is to establish the first human colony on Mars in 10 years. The expensive six billion dollar price tag is actually lessened because it’s a one-way trip. Of course we’ve heard of potential space explorations to Mars, culminating in a colonization of the red planet. The idea doesn’t exclusive rest in the fictional realm. Technology remains a big deterrence from Mars exploration to Mars colonization, as the big question of “how are we going to get back?” has yet to be tangibly answered. So in comes Mars One.
Mars One, is essentially a process that starts with selecting astronauts, to communication satellite and supply launches, to the first group of four settlers in 2023, a second group in 2025 and as many as 20 in 2033. To compare, the Curiosity rover in 2011 cost NASA $2.5 billion. That was just a car-sized robot. How Mars One plans to spend their $6 billion budget plan rest in big donor sponsors, a great media push and our culture’s thirst for reality TV.
It won’t be like Survivor, Big Brother or any of the Got Talent programs. Think Olympics, but not just for a few weeks, but more like a few years. We’d be able to follow along with the selection of astronauts, training, lift-off and landing. Of course all of this would come complete with the publicity and advertising bids that you’d expect to help sell and fund this undertaking.
So how do you choose the first person on the face of the Earth to become the first person on the face of Mars? Within the past year over 10,000 people have inquired about becoming transplant Martians. But as of Monday, anyone in the world can throw their name in with an online application and a small fee.
At the end of August of this year the Mars One group will select their applicants in this first round of the selection process. After three more rounds of training an intense seven-year training period will be required for the select few. And just like any good reality show, when they get to about two or three dozen the final four will be decided by audience participation. As long as you are ready for a lifetime of challenges, are in good physical and mental health and have a few key character traits you could be the first person on Mars.
Not for nothin, but you have to first agree to be evicted from Earth. Some people are already there, like those who have completely lost their mind. Others who are considering this are trying to lose their minds, or their lives. It’s a risky proposition and Mars One is preying on people’s fascination to pay for their venture and to be their human guinea pigs. To add, much of the criticism of the project comes not with the technology of making this all possible, but with the funding it’ll take. The $6 billion is just for the first flight.
Not saying its a bad idea. If this comes to fruition anyone who becomes part of the first human colony on another planet would go down in history as among the greatest human beings of all time, likely to jump right to the top of the list. So once you endure a seven month flight in space just to get there and prepare yourself for a lifetime of isolation with very little human contact in a dangerous and daring environment that no other human has ever faced, how would you bask in your glow of greatness? Easy answer is you wouldn’t have to worry about that.