- Mars One (Official Website) is a non-profit private organization HQ’ed in Haarlem, Holland (CEO and founder, Bans Lanslop & CTO, chief technical officer, Arno Wielders). Their plan is to organize a one-way trip of humans to Mars by 2027. As of 2017, they have selected about 100 finalists from a pool of 20,000 applicants, who will be potential explorers on MARS.
- They estimate that MARS ONE project will require a budget of $ 6.0 Billion dollars and they plan to raise the funds from investments, sponsorship, and broadcasting rights. This project is comprised of a wonderful group of people with a big drive for space exploration, an essential part of human survival over the years. Throughout our existence, exploration has been an important part of how humans have survived and maintained life on Earth.
Testing, Planning, and Timeline
- Testing will be done in Iceland to mimic the conditions of Mars. Iceland is the best place that comes close to Mars conditions especially the topography and soil content in the country. They plan to get there by using Space X, Falcon Heavy, which is scheduled to land on Mars surface by 2026. From leaving the Earth to Mars surface, it will take about 7-months to make it to MARS. Mars one Project plans to travel in 2027. This means that it will have to depend on Space X’s Falcon Heavy, to even come close to traveling to Mars.
- Critics from the Experts:
- NASA scientists and engineers are very skeptical about the timeline and how qualified Mars One Project can accomplish their mission. Mostly, NASA thinks that they are and will not ready at all by 2027.
- NASA thinks that there should be a choice to come back should explorers want to at some point of their exploration. However, the CEO and the CTO of Mars One Project objects to that idea that it would simply add costs and be counterproductive. Their project aim is to colonize Mars by allowing first settlers to explore and live on Mars forever. They are simply not backing up from their projects.
- According to the management of the project, the most important thing is to explain and give all the details to the finalists describing all the risks associated with the project so that they can make final decisions about a one-way trip to Mars.
Challenges ahead of this ambitious project
- Conditions on Mars:
- MARS has no known water location (as of October 2017), no food, extremely lower temperature ( -63 degrees Fahrenheit average ), low gravity (half of earth’s gravity) and extremely low pressures. Explorers will have to find a way to deal with all these conditions and right now there is not enough knowledge and technology to deal with all the above obstacles. Settling on Mars is going to be a tough challenge because of high levels of U. V. radiations, which can cause cancer to first settlers and shorten their lifetime there.
- Key to survival: Access to water to sustain life. There is also no oxygen for breathing and they would have to find water so that they can decompose H2O into O2 molecules for breathing. All of these important essentials are still missing and unknown even though the project is 10-years away from launching supposedly.
- In order to live on Mars, we would need huge advancement in planetary science and genetic engineering to sustain life on Mars. They would also need to warm up Mars to make it habitable.
- Nuclear option (pump lots of CO2 into Mars atmosphere and wait for it to warm up from -80 degrees Fahrenheit to -25 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Create a thick atmosphere of CO2 to block UV radiations from the sun and find some form of H2O.
- Overall Assessment (As of October 2017):
- This is a very ambitious project and will require lots of funds, technology, and lots of stakeholders to take this project from a dream to a reality.
- Funding: This project has to raise about $ 6.0 Billion USD, and they have to come up with funding sources. Can Investors, sponsors, and TV broadcasting rights fill the $ 6.00 Billion dollar gap? I don’t think they will.
- Relying on Space X: Mars One will need Falcon Heavy ( Space X rocket) to transport humans and their gears to Mars. Without Space X, no travel to Mars. Space X plans to have Falcon Heavy ready to land to Mars surface in 2026. Can they achieve this? and even if they did, will Mars One have enough resources to go the year after? At this point, it does not look like they will have them.
- One-way mission: The project leaders are quite fanatic and honestly a bit absurd. Why send humans first without an opportunity to return? Why not start with robots and let them do preliminary work such as finding water sources and locations. That way, humans who follow can have a higher probability of succeeding? Do Robotic exploring first and then humans later.
- NASA Skepticism: NASA is the only institution that has successfully landed on Mars Surface with “Curiosity Rover”. Mars One should listen more if NASA tells them that they are not ready from a logical, ethical, and practical standpoint. Mars-One targets to have 8-colonists by 2030. Is this a suicide mission as NASA predicts? We can only count on the future to see how Mars One project goes.
- From my point of view, this is an extremely ambitious project and they are NOT ready yet. They are very fanatic and don’t seem to have all the needs nailed down to turn this “dream project” into a reality. Maybe they have some serious inspiration, but I highly doubt they will ever make it. If they do a good job, they will send robots there. You would have to be quite #dumb to go on a one-way mission to Mars without a choice of returning. Mars-One 100 finalists seem to have (partially) decided to take on this challenge, but I do not think that they know what they are doing. Lot of them are not even astronauts. They will have to learn and train to be astronauts. As one finalist says, their pride to be “first settlers on Mars” will override any pain. Essentially, claiming that we have one life and it seems to them that it is worth it to use it in order to make this world a better place.
- For more information about Mars One Project, see their official website and connects with their social media to follow up on their updates. The Guardian published a good article about Mars one Project.
- For more excellent information on Space Explorations and NASA missions to Mars, check sources below.