Posted in Sparks in the wild, WWWhat?

Ticket to Mars

I first heard about this ambitious plan on werd.com. The short post was accompanied by this picture. So I did some more research for us, because I knew that you would want to know about it too. Behold, the Mars One mission. What’s it all about, I hear you cry? Oh, nothing much – only a plan to establish THE FIRST HUMAN SETTLEMENT ON MARS IN 2023. Yes, that’s right – according to the website, a habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land. The settlement will support them while they live and work on Mars the rest of their lives. Every two years after 2023 an additional crew will arrive, such that there is a real living, growing community on Mars.

Apparently, the good people at Mars One have a “technical plan” for the mission and have “identified at least one supplier” for every part of the process between now (empty Mars, as far as we know) and 2023 (thriving metropolis Mars). There is even a section on the website for anyone who might be sceptical – it’s called: Is this really possible? (The answer is basically ‘yes, sure, why not’ in case you don’t want to read it yourself.) Another FAQ is, understandably: Is this for real? To which the answer is: Yes it is! Mars One has been working on this project in secret since January of 2011. It has taken us ’til now to expose it publically because we are now certain of its feasibility and means of finance.

Alrighty then, friends, let’s start packing! Oh, hang on, I have now read the FAQ entitled: Can I apply to become an astronaut? Sadly, the answer seems to be NO. Or at least, NOT YET. Apparently the team at Mars One have received lots of emails from people asking to be part of the mission, but they’re not yet in a position to start selecting the first astronauts. I guess they’ll have to be pretty picky, since these people will be the founders of the settlement up there. You don’t want people who are going to give dumb names to the towns and streets and national parks.

I include this image from NASA/Wikipedia to help inform your decision on emigrating to Mars, when that option becomes available. It’s clearly a lot smaller than good ol’ Earth, but according to Wikipedia, Mars has surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. So, you know, great if you like hiking, nature, extreme adventure and that sort of thing. Oh, and Mars can be seen from Earth without a telescope, so your old friends and neighbours will still be able to keep an eye on you.

Anyways, now you know a little more, you are probably keen to read more of the fine print and perhaps even sign up for the Mars One Monthly Newsmail. You can do so on the Mars One website here.