There’s an old joke about sending someone you hate on a one-way trip to Mars. Now, a Dutch entrepreneur has formed a company around this concept — and it’s no joke. Bas Lansdorp, the 35-year-old founder of Mars One, told FoxNews.com his company is serious about a one-way mission.
The company will hold a worldwide lottery next year to select 40 people for a training team. They will then set up a mock colony in the desert, possibly somewhere in the U.S., for three months. This initial team will be reduced to ten crew members. They will then be sent to Mars, never again to return. The habitat will consist of several housing structures that Mars One will launch before 2023. In 2016, the company plans to launch the first supply vessel. In 2018, it plans to send a rover.
To help fund the project, Lansdorp says there could be a reality show based on the selection process and test colony. Paul Römer, the co-founder and executive producer of the show “Big Brother,” is an adviser for Mars One. Other advisers include Nobel Prize winner Dr. Gerard ‘t Hooft and Brian Enke, an analyst at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., who studies space missions.
Norbert Kraft, a former NASA researcher who studied group psychology for long-term human missions, says the Mars One crew will have to be carefully selected by psychiatrists and prepped to deal with psychological factors like how to collaborate in stressful situations and anticipate problems.
Buzz Aldrin, the lunar module pilot with Neil Armstrong who landed on the moon, has maintained for years that the only way for humans to reach Mars is to plan a one-way mission. Enke and Lansdorp both argued that a human can explore in a way a robot can’t. There’s a six-minute delay between communications from Earth to the robot, so the robots would need to be highly autonomous and pre-programmed. Yet, a human can make decisions and judgments as needed.
Do you think this one-way ticket to the Red Planet is a good idea? Would YOU want to live in Mars for the rest of your life?
Source: Fox News