Have you ever thought to yourself “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore?”, well now it turns out there’s a chance you might not have to for much longer. Now I genuinely don’t know whether this is one of the coolest things ever, or whether it is just a bat-shit crazy idea made up simply for the lulz at the expense of all those people who are desperate to leave this God-forsaken planet.
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Some Dutch company called Mars One are planning to land humans on Mars in 2023, and you, yes you, could take part. This is because they are actually taking applications from the general public, and if you’re one of the lucky chosen few, in 10 years time you could be one of the first people to walk on Mars. Pretty cool huh? There’s a catch though, you won’t EVER be coming back. Yeah that’s right, this will be a one-way trip. If this actually happens you’re going to have to spend the rest of your days on a barren, lifeless planet with no hope of ever leaving.
In some ways, this would be one of the coolest things ever; imagine spending seven months travelling through space on an actual spaceship and being one of the first humans to set up a colony on a new planet, you’d go down in history for sure. On the other side though, there would be no more 4/20’s for you, no more getting wrecked at the weekends, no more seeing your friends and family, no more of anything really; your entire life will change, like forever.
So, about this company Mars one; they plan on raising funds for this one-way mission by sponsors, advertisements, TV deals and even selling off some of the technology they are yet to develop for the mission. Apparently it’s going to cost them $6 billion just to send the first crew there, and they have plans to send further crews in the years following. After doing a bit of research into them, it does seem like they’re being deadly serious about it all; they have hired professionals and are working with various respected companies around the world to develop the technology. They are even working with the company that supplies the international space station to come up with designs for their supply and landing capsules, so that’s something.
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They plan on making the final stages of the selection process a world-wide TV and internet event – like some sort of X-Factor for astronauts- where viewers can seemingly vote for their favorites based entirely on how they look and sound rather than how good they’d actually be as an astronaut. They also plan on creating a permanent ‘reality TV’ show with cameras all over the colony filming the crew and settlement as they go about whatever it is they will go about on a day to day basis. This is, apparently, a way of making money to ensure the success of future missions.
The long-term plan is to build a permanent colony on Mars; the initial trip will contain just four people, two men and two woman. The idea is that they will be busy doing whatever it is they will be doing (building solar panels and green houses and stuff I guess) rather than wanna hook up and create any ‘Mars-lings’ – is that what they’d be called? Apparently they’re not planning to get the new settlers to populate the planet because I guess that would just make too much sense.
Let’s face it though, it’s going to take 10 years to plan this trip and to train the astronauts, so unless they get a load of asexuals or completely incompatible people they’re gonna want to get jiggy at some point in the future, surely, even if their options are rather limited. We know isolation can make people do some really crazy things, and I don’t know about you, but spending the rest of my life in those conditions would probably drive me insane, seeing the same few people every day for the rest of my life.
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You might well be asking yourself how they plan on sustaining themselves on a pretty dull and lifeless planet? Well, the answer is that they’re going to have to survive on low rations and dried food for quite some time, until they manage to develop and build places where they can grow plants. As for water, that isn’t a problem because they’re going to be recycling their own PISS. Sounds pretty messed up right? Drinking recycled urine? But apparently they already do this on the international space station so there’s little chance that they’re ever gonna run out of water, it might taste a little salty though.
This mission is going to take 10 years to come to fruition and 40 astronauts will be trained until four are chosen for the first mission. They will all be trained to deal with any technical or medical emergency that they encounter. They plan on sending earlier missions including a ‘settlement rover’, to build the settlement, as well as various resources so when the first crew land on the planet they won’t be like ‘oh, ok, what the hell do we do now??’.
By the sounds of it, it does sound like they are kinda making it up as they go along. It would be pretty cool though if they can actually manage to raise the funds and make the mission a success. The technology for such a feat is certainly not out of our reach and it would be pretty cool to make history and be one of the first humans to colonise another planet. So I guess we’re just gonna have to wait and see if they can pull this one off; they already have over 40,000 applications so there’s a lot of interest. Half of me really wants to apply because going to space and travelling to another planet seems like a pretty awesome thing to do, but I’m not too keen on the ‘one-way’ part of the trip. Although saying that I could think of plenty of reasons to get as far away as possible from this place.
I guess time will tell if this is gonna be for real or whether it’s just one huge pisstake. If you want to apply, you can do so via their website.