By KARINA MATOS
Twenty years ago, if someone suggested the idea of people living on Mars, they would have been called crazy. It’s not like that anymore. Now, people are already paying for their spot on the unnamed ship going to Mars. For people who love adventure, it seems like a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to explore Mars, and start a whole new colony that could possibly solve the population problems of Earth? However, the requirements that somehow 200,000 people have already met are a little much.
There are only four spots available on this unnamed space-craft to Mars, planned to launch in 2025. The downside to applying? The former Earthlings will never come back. That means no connections to Earth, because there’s no coming back. That means being prepared to start a whole new life, a whole new colony. The technology for flight return doesn’t exist, and a one way trip apparently reduces the cost. However, if this criteria seems appealing to you, it’s too late now, since the time to send in applications are closed. The company says that by the end of this year the people who have made it to “Round Two” will be notified.
This entire project is being run by a Dutch company, Mars One. The mission itself will be launched in 2018, and has to do with a robot lander and communications satellite. After the robotic test, if everything goes well the human astronauts can land on Mars in 2025. What will be sent in 2018 is a robotic arm that will take video of the landscape and an experiment that will test the production of liquid water. “The highest priority is to actually have liquid water on Mars,” said Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp in an interview with CNN published on Dec. 10, 2013. Also some experiments from university contests will be included.
The plan after sending the first humans to Mars in 2025 is to send more crews every two years. Right now the plan is to send crews in groups of four, but if they can find a way to expand the craft, they plan to send more. While they do plan to send the technology in 2018, they are not completely sure that it will be totally ready by then. Even the human aspect was supposed to be done in 2023, but it was pushed back.
One aspect that could possibly be causing these setbacks is the money it would take to fund everything. The budget that has been estimated for sending the crew of four to Mars is $6 billion. Lansdorp, in his CNN interview, would not say how much they had raised, but only that it was over $200,000. However, reality TV was one possibility floating around. Since a lot of the footage will be very unique which will hopefully have a lot of value. Media coverage is extremely important for the project to “get off the ground.”While no one knows what the future holds, it seems that the trip to Mars is becoming more and more of a reality. This trip would be a momentous step in space exploration and in the direction of population control. Whatever occurs it is sure to be an important part in our near future.