A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook from FOX News, entitled, “Mars-One Plans Suicide Mission to Red Planet for 2023”. The headline is a bit deceiving since there is a difference between planetary expatriation and 'suicide'. Death is an eventuality whether you are exploring Mars on a one-way voyage or just sitting at home here on earth watching FOX News. The article had a link to the Mars-One website which can be found right here: http://mars-one.com/en/. I encourage you to check it out for yourself, to click around, and to consider the possibilities. It turns out, “Mars-One” is a Dutch project to actually go to Barsoom (shout out to you John Carter fans) and establish the first station on another world. “Fantastic”, you say? The fact of the matter is, right now, with the use of existing technologies humanity could reach the planet Mars in 11 years.
Earth shaking big.
To paraphrase Norbert Kraft, “History is what happens when the impossible is made possible.” I have said it several times on the pages of this electric soapbox of a blog of mine; there is no such thing as science fiction.
The obstacles that immediately come to mind are, “who goes?” & “how do you pay for it?” Mars-One has come up with some unique strategies. If one considers the seven month voyage it will take to get to Mars, the mind-bending isolation, the crushing claustrophobia that the first few generations settlers would have to endure, the harsh environment of an unknown world that has 40% the gravity of Earth and the fact that there is, at this stage in the game, no possibility of a return trip to the planet of your birth it becomes quite obvious that the selection process for the astronaut settlers will have to be rigorous with extra care taken concerning their psychological condition. They will have a pool of 40 screened and trained people to choose from for the first generation of settlers. I assume that the process would be the same for the next generation of settlers who would arrive two years later.
So how does one fund a trip to the fourth planet of our solar system? Mars-One has come up with a unique way of making this happen. Everything will be displayed for the world to behold via making it a global “reality TV” event. Yes, the revolution will be televised. By doing so Mars-One grantees two things that give me hope for success of this ambitious project; first, no tax dollars will be spent and second no politics. Mars does not care where you come from or what your political ideology may be. This is the liberation that free enterprise and brilliant minds brings to the table. We have seen this evolve even before the Space Shuttle program was deemed too expensive to continue. The X-Prize’s Space Ship One, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX, all examples of how the future will be shaped by free enterprise and brilliant minds. One does not simply look to governmental structure for technological progress – you look to a freethinking populous for that. Thank God for free enterprise and brilliant minds.
You may have more questions than this humble blog can provide so here is the Mars-One FAQ page: http://mars-one.com/en/faq-en. The only way any progression forward happens is when people take risks. No doubt this is risky business but it also means that mankind, in my lifetime (he said selfishly) may have an established colony on Mars.
Earth shaking big.
I have but one modest request for their program; when the time comes to name the first town established on Mars please consider the name, “Bradbury”.