Mars One Project

Mars surface close to equator
Mars surface close to equator

I don’t know if any of you have been following the Mars One project or have heard of it. Mars One is a project started by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp. He started a private project and his organization is based in the Netherlands. He plans to have people living on Mars by the year 2027. Since humans are depleting Earth’s resources and will eventually run out, he thought of starting this project in order to ensure mankind’s existence for the future. It’s a great concept and a pretty awesome project at first but when you start thinking about it, it would be pretty hard to procreate on Mars. Questions have surfaced about how women can conceive on Mars. Mars has 38% of Earth’s gravity. We also do not know how babies will do in such a harsh environment. Out on Mars, humans are exposed to much more radiation. Here on Earth pregnant women try to avoid that as much as possible and on Mars they are going to be exposed to high amounts of radiation. According to research, the journey would expose a person to as much radiation as getting 24 CAT scans. That’s a lot of radiation! Once on Mars, there is not much consistency in protection against radiation. Radiation levels also vary weekly and depends on the season. Of course, shelters can be built to protect people from radiation…but then the trouble will be whether these shelters can withstand the weather in space. There are so many things to consider and a lot of money will be spent on sustaining life on Mars if this project actually follows through.

Hundreds of thousands of people have applied since they started asking people to volunteer for this mission. This big group of people are then to be whittled down to 6 groups of 4. Once the manned missions start, the groups will be sent one at a time. I wonder how they figured out how many people they would send over. Also, which would be scarier, to be the first group sent or the next? I figured it would be scarier to be the second group sent. Being the first group, there is nothing to fear yet because everyone has been trained rigorously on Earth before the mission. There is a lot of curiosity and experimentation involved. Now comes the second group. They could arrive to greet the first group or they could arrive and see the first group dead. Even with the training they go through, they still have no idea what will happen in actuality. Going out into space to live on another planet is so different and humans are not used to it. The unpredictability of space is something humans have to overcome before building a permanent colony on Mars.

So, what does an application to become a Martian look like? It consists of only 3 questions that have to be answered in video format:
1. Why would you like to go to Mars?
2. How would you like to describe your sense of humor?
3. What makes you the perfect candidate for this mission on Mars?

The requirements for the application are listed here: Mars One Requirements. Some of the applicants’ responses were posted online and I was just appalled at some of them. Two stood out to me. Both of them were married and one of them has children. I can’t believe they would actually consider leaving their families to go to Mars and never return. I just don’t get it. I’m wondering if there is some sort of compensation for their after they leave for Mars. If it’s just for volunteer purposes and the fact that they are doing something “better” for mankind….then that’s going to be difficult on their families. One applicant compared the Mars One mission to the military and that the military goes out and does important things while missing important family memories. I don’t think that this is the same thing. When they go to Mars, that’s it. You are never coming back. Even if they do figure out a way to return to Earth, it is going to be a long while from now.

I suppose there are benefits to going to Mars if you really want to see the benefits. On the Mars One website they listed 3 reasons why we should go to Mars:
1. It would be a great adventure
2. Curiosity
3. Progress
Not sure if the first two reasons are good enough for people to venture off into space. When you’re thinking about it we don’t need Mars to accomplish great feats. We can accomplish a lot here on Earth. I just don’t feel it necessary to endanger the lives of many individuals when staying here on Earth is perfectly safe. But to each his own. Mankind has always been curious. Mankind has always been inclined to explore their surroundings and everything else that is unknown to them. I just hope that they really know what they are doing and that the rigorous training is actually going to help them on Mars. I wish all of them luck on their journey and safe travels.

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