Natalie Keir looks into the voluntary one way mission to Mars, created for our own entertainment.
The colonisation of nearby planets is a concept regularly explored in the realms of science fiction, but one not-for-profit foundation is looking to make this fantasy a reality. Mars One is hoping to send between 24 and 40 budding astronauts to Mars from 2023. It is estimated that the project could cost up to $6 billion, but Mars One h
ave a novel plan for raising the funds; airing the project as a reality TV series.
The winning entrants will be collected into groups of 4, one of which will be sent to Mars in 10 years’ time. Every 2 years, another group will be sent out, until a small population graces the surface of the red planet. The journey to Mars will be far from trivial. It will take 7 months to get there, and once they have arrived at their destination, the new inhabitants will have to remain indoors at all times, with no real time connection to Earth. Psychologists from all over the globe have expressed serious concern over the
psychological strain the ‘winners’ will be put under. They will experience unprecedented levels of isolation, confinement and lack of privacy.
When you consider the grave living conditions waiting for the explorers on Mars, you would think that Mars One would have a tough time finding 24 people willing to participate. The company went about this recruitment quest by inviting potential participants to make a short video explaining why they wanted to live on Mars. Thousands entered, and it is now up to the general public to vote for their favourite astronaut-hopefuls. Mars One plans to televise the final stages of the selection process, making the endeavour somewhat of a X-Factor style ordeal. By the way, you can place your vote at http://applicants.mars-one.com/
Image by U.S. Department of Agriculture