Of the over 200,000 applicants to be the first human to set foot on Mars, 1058 have made the next cut. This narrows down the field of applicants down by 99.5%.
Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp says “We’re extremely appreciative and impressed with the sheer number of people who submitted their applications. However, the challenge with 200,000 applicants is separating those who we feel are physically and mentally adept to become human ambassadors on Mars from those who are obviously taking the mission much less seriously. We even had a couple of applicants submit their videos in the nude!”
Norbert Kraft, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Mars One and recipient of the 2013 NASA Group Achievement Award says, “The next several selection phases in 2014 and 2015 will include rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates. We expect to begin understanding what is motivating our candidates to take this giant leap for humankind. This is where it really gets exciting for Mars One, our applicants, and the communities they’re a part of.”
Lansdorp says, “We fully anticipate many of our remaining candidates to become celebrities in their towns, cities, and in many cases, countries. It’s about to get very interesting.”
For those that got cut from the program there is still another chance to reach the red planet according to Lansdorp, “US astronaut Clayton Anderson was rejected by NASA for its astronaut training program 15 times, yet in 2007 he boarded the Space Shuttle Atlantis for a trip to the International Space Station. He proved anything can happen and the door is never completely closed.”
After this PR fiasco over at Reddit , where the community ripped into the founder for not being an engineer or scientist, and the whole thing being a scam. Like user MoonTouch said, “Can you provide any proof that you’re not running a hoax?”.
And what about that thread over on Slashdot where user DerekLyons stated “after reading their [laughable] ‘FAQ’, I’d expand that to “what are you smoking?’.”
There are certainly skeptics out there, but there is still a glimmer of hope for those that think this is a good idea.
With NASA backing down from long distance manned space flight and the private space sector heating up, it was only a matter of time that a concept like Mars One came about. Mars One is an idea that, though some think is crazy, could quite possibly work.
One of our sources from within the space industry stated “I think it’s a great idea, I really hope they can pull it off”. That’s pretty much everyone’s thoughts at this point. We all really want someone to set foot on Mars.
SpaceX has proven that a private company can build a rocket and capsule that can dock with the International Space Station. They built their own rocket factory to accomplish it, therefore building a rocket factory for anyone that will buy their services.
The Mars Curiosity Rover proved , without a shadow of doubt, that we can fly a mini cooper sized craft to Mars and land it safely. This is great news for a manned mission like that being proposed by Mars One. If they use similar technology to the rover landing, minus the cable dropping mechanism, it should work if all goes as planned.
Though it sounds like an awesome idea, the mission will be full of challenges. A manned mission to Mars is very expensive, Mars One estimates at least 6 billion dollars USD for the entire project. Industry sources think that estimate is too low and will end up costing somewhere around 15-20 billion USD once everything is said and done.
That being said, Bas and the good people over at Mars One seem to have figured out how to make money, they will sell advertising throughout every stage of the mission. A Pepsi logo on the side of the landing craft while the whole world watches, that’s awesome. You can’t pay enough for advertising like that. But the question is, will anyone actually pay for that?
Think for a second about NASCAR. It’s the same idea, people doing insanely death defying, some times stupid things. Large companies pay millions for a small sticker on the bumper of one of these cars. I’d assume they would do the pay more for a small logo on the astronauts jumpsuit or helmet.
It will be the most elaborate reality TV show of all time. The whole thing will be like The Real World in space with no way to get home. There will be no return shuttle, there’s no hope of escape if anything goes wrong. These people will live the rest of their lives on Mars as pioneers and will die heroes and explorers. Or they will self destruct on the way there and leave us with one of the most amazing reality TV show endings of all time. Either way, there’s advertising real estate to sell. The suspense is killing me and the show hasn’t even been produced yet.
We will all witness some of the bravest men and women from this planet leave everything behind, their loved ones, their kids, wives, husbands, home towns, and ultimately their home planet Earth to make a new life on an alien planet millions of miles away with no means of getting home. They will be pioneers that first step foot onto a planet we’ve dreamt about visiting for generations.
There are some logistical challenges to overcome. Mostly, in my opinion, getting qualified engineers and scientists to support such a brave new concept. The Mars Curiosity Rover used a staggering 2.5 million lines of C code. Finding the right people to do that and for it to all work flawlessly will be a monumental task. Not only to write the code, but to support it from the ground if something were to happen between here and Mars. Once they have the right people supporting the project and guaranteeing that it will be feasible I think the advertisers will come out of the woodwork, like a long lost relative when someone wins the lottery.
If they get the backing of reputable companies this venture would do amazing things and Mars One would certainly provide them an opportunity to do the most amazing engineering task of all time.
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We haven’t heard anything for Bas Lansdorp and the Mars One crew in a little while. I’m sure they are doing their best to make this happen.
If I were Mars One I’d take some cover until something concrete is announced. This was recently posted to their facebook page.
The world will be waiting to hear what’s next up for this interesting company and we will make sure to keep you all in the loop with the latest news.
Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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