Keeping up with the ‘Mars One’ mission

Words: Srishti Hemmady

‘The choice comes with a contingency. It is a one-way trip to planet Mars’

Some think of it as social-suicide. Compare this to almost having your existence on earth being wiped away, not because you were physically dead, but because of one personal choice of a would-be astronaut resulting in humanity waking up to the groundbreaking news.

What is odd about that you may ask? The choice comes with a contingency. It is a one-way trip to planet Mars. There is no coming back to the mother planet that has sustained human life, flora, and fauna so efficiently for centuries now. Mars One is a highly ambitious project founded by Bas Lansdorp who dished out major details in 2012 as to how this project aimed to send humans on Mars to start a colony and turn it into our second home. This dusty and rough terrain red planet was chosen for various reasons after years of thorough research by the scientists in NASA. Mars has witnessed water bodies, a temperature that is not completely suitable (95.32% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen and 0.146% of oxygen) but is not as bad as the other freezing cold planets which prove to be unfit for human habitation. Mars has witnessed some microbial life in the past. The Mars One project has raised a lot of questions. Right from the candidate selection, funding for the one-way trip to talks of showcasing a probable reality television show to the final scarring thought of leaving behind your family for a permanent residence on a planet that is yet to be unearthed. The initial launch was scheduled to be in 2022 and was believed to officially land on Mars in 2023. It basically takes around six-seven months, considering there are no mishaps to take place while flying to the red planet.

Mars cube one (MarCO) Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Kevin Gill

The selection process wasn’t taken lightly. The select 100 candidates from all over the world were being trained in groups of four, out of which only six groups will be flying first- based on audience polls. In every two years, a well-equipped group of four would be joining the other Martians. Not only will the ex-earthlings build and construct essentials but will also be researching on behalf of NASA to find any traces of possible alien life. The process of selection, their grueling experiences and group activities will be televised to audiences to help them choose who will be the first select humans to be part of planet Mars.

Here are some facts one should read up about the planet and the ‘Mars One’ project before its ambitious launch:

  • The supposed launch in 2022 had been shifted to 2027. But with no equipped funding in the project, the launch is delayed and is now scheduled for 2032.
  • The Mars One project is going to get through only with the help of huge fundings. It roughly needs a whopping 6 billion US Dollars for just the first one-way trip. Mars One project has offered to put a company name on the lander that is willing to provide them with the highest funding for the mission.
  • ‘Mars One’ began rolling out admissions where people above 18 could apply. There were no age barriers beyond 18 and they accepted people who were physically and mentally fit. More than 2,00,000 Earthlings applied. To become a possible Martian, the would-be astronauts have to go through four rounds to be selected in the Top 100. If any group member decides to leave the project midway, the other members have to go through the same group building activity from scratch.
  • The Martians can only view movies and shows that are uploaded to the Mars server. If they need to see something exclusive, they can request for it but the possibilities of browsing through the net will be close to impossible and rather difficult. Any news or show will be broadcasted on Mars around 20-30 minutes after it’s been telecasted on Earth.
  • A typical Martian day is 24 hours just like our standard time here; now add 45 minutes to it. A day in Mars would be 24 hours and 45 minutes long approximately.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Inspiration Mars Foundation


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