For some reason, every time I turn on the TV these days there’s a documentary on about Mars. So today I Googled it. Is There Life on Mars? Obviously not (YET). I had no idea this was happening (although Mike did!), but apparently a space exploration company called Mars One has shortlisted 1,058 people to travel to – wait for it – MARS, in the not-so-distant future. So what’s the catch? You can NEVER come back. Do you know how many people applied? 200,000.
Bas Lansdorp is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur who hopes to land a colony of four astronauts on the surface of Mars by 2025. Those who clear the application process will undergo eight years of training while a series of robotic missions set up their forever home on a planet 225 million kilometres away.
Obviously this isn’t going to be cheap! The roadmap for the first 4 alone will cost a cool $6 billion (but to put that in perspective the Olympics makes $4 billion just in TV rights and you can bet EVERYBODY will wanna see this!) The plan is to raise the money through crowd-sourcing, and TV sponsorship deals. Mars One will be a 24-hour reality TV show, with the public voting on which applicants will get to travel. Yikes, now it’s starting to sound like The Truman Show. Can you imagine being born on Mars?! If I was that kid, I’d be pissed.
I thought this applicant described it best. Big Brother meets Aliens meets Hunger Games! Check out ALL the Indian applicants here.
The journey to Mars will take 210 days. This is really the point of no return because there is simply – no coming back.
FYI Life on Mars will not be “fun” in the traditional sense. For starters, water is in very short supply. Nasa’s Phoenix lander discovered ice in 2008, but to survive long-term they’ll need to extract water from the martian soil. This is super time consuming so the new martians would be recycling all liquid waste and cleaning themselves with wipes!
Food is non-existent on Mars, but plants and vegetables can be grown using hydroponics, that doesn’t require soil. Farmed insects from Earth would provide protein and maybe one day animals will be sent over too. What?! PIGS IN SPACE? *cue muppets*
The biggest challenge is actually mental. With lows of -90 degrees, you would spend very little time outside – and that too in a spacesuit. And the rest of your life in close quarters which could have long term mental health effects.
The good news is that satellite technology means you’d have TV, be able to download books and video message your peeps back on earth. So tell me, would you wanna go?
Check it out, there’s a website and everything!