Wanted: Brave earthlings willing to take a one-way trip to the Red Planet
When: Take-off is scheduled for 2025
Requirements: No Earth-bound emotional connections that might interfere with the move to outer space; an openness to living basically only on water (assuming water is found on Mars) and whatever food scraps can occasionally be delivered from Earth; a willingness to take part in the most spectacular reality-TV show the Universe (as we know it) has ever seen, with cameras hung from balloons high above the planet’s surface, watching your every move.
Where to apply: You can join the 200,000 other prospective space travelers who have already paid fees of as much as $75 per application to the Mars One foundation, the Dutch company which announced this week that it’s moving ahead with contracts to first build an unmanned spacecraft, whose 2018 mission to Mars will be followed a few years by the first group of four Earthlings making the big move out of town.
Waaaaaay out of town.
The idea is that the space pioneers would basically colonize Mars, settling in for the long haul since there is currently no launchpad up there to get them back to Earth.
As reported by The Guardian, Mars One “has lined up two major companies to work on a robotic mission to the planet. Slated for launch in 2018, the Mars One mission aims to pave the way for the volunteer crew by testing technology they will need should they reach the red planet in good enough shape to start the first human space colony.”
And the companies Mars One is working with are no slouches in the field of high-altitude extravaganzas:
The US aerospace company, Lockheed Martin, which has worked on scores of NASA missions, has agreed to draw up plans for a lander based on the US space agency’s Phoenix probe that touched down on Mars in 2008.
And CNN reports that Mars One has a deal in place to put together “a robotic lander and a communications satellite. Lockheed Martin has been contracted to study building the lander, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. will develop a concept study for the satellite, Mars One said.
This first mission will demonstrate technology that would be involved in a permanent human settlement on Mars. If all goes well — and that’s still very much an “if” — the first pioneers could land on Mars in 2025.
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