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Want to live on Mars? One way tickets available.

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by smileedude, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. http://mobile.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22146456




    Want to go to Mars? Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to build a community of settlers on the planet.Uncharted waters, mountains or far away lands have always drawn explorers. History books show that desire for adventure, even in the face of extreme danger, did not deter the likes ofColumbus or Magellan.So it is perhaps not surprising that Mars One has already received thousands of prospective applicants. But there is no return - unlike the mission which hopes to fly to Mars and back in 2018.Future explorers take note. Applicants must be resilient, adaptable, resourceful and must work well within a team. The whole project will be televised, from the reality TV style selection process, to landing and beyond.On a visit to the BBC's London office, Mars One's co-founder Bas Lansdorp explains why this would be a one-way flight.During the seven-to-eight month journey, astronauts will lose bone and muscle mass. After spending time on Mars' much weaker gravitational field, it would be almost impossible to readjust back to Earth's much stronger gravity, says Landsorp.Successful applicants will be trained physically and psychologically. The team will use existing technology for all aspects of the project. Energy will be generated from solar panels, water will be recycled and extracted from soil and the astronauts will grow their own food - they will also have an emergency ration and regular top-ups as new explorers join every two years.Solar windBut is it realistic to believe that individuals could live and prosper on the Red Planet?Mars is in the firing line of the Sun's high energy particles, called solar wind. The atmosphere of Mars is very thin as the solar wind is thought to have stripped much of it away.On Earth, we are protected from the solar wind by a strong magnetic field. Without this, it would be much more difficult to survive. Although Mars once had similar protection about four billion years ago, today there is no such shield protecting it.The Martian surface is therefore extremely hostile to life, says Dr Veronica Bray, from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, who is sceptical about the project.There's no liquid water, the atmospheric pressure is "practically a vacuum", radiation levels are higher and temperatures vary wildly, she says."Radiation exposure is a concern, especially during the trip. This can lead to increased cancer risk, a lowered immune system and possibly infertility."To minimise radiation, the project team will cover the domes with several metres of soil, which the colonists will have to dig up.The settlers will live in two units and additional domes will house food and other emergency suppliesThe settlement will grow. The project aims to send another four people into this new space community every two years"I have no doubt that we could physically place a human being on Mars. Whether they'd be able to survive for an extended period of time is much more doubtful," adds Dr Bray.Ambassador for the project, Professor Gerard 't Hooft, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for theoretical physics in 1999, admits there are unknown health risks. He says the radiation is "of quite a different nature" than anything which has been tested on Earth.Technical challenge"They [the applicants] will be told that there are risks, but it will be our responsibility to keep the risks within acceptable odds."Nasa astronaut Stan Love knows first-hand the difficulties with technology that his colleagues have experienced on the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit.The apparatus which recycles human waste and turns "yesterday's coffee into into tomorrow's coffee needs frequent maintenance and would likely not survive years of continuous duty on Mars", he says.Love has recently returned from Antarctica which he says is a "picnic compared to Mars"."It's full of water, you can go outside and breathe the air. It's paradise compared to Mars and yet nobody has moved there permanently."Although dubious about the funding, the technology and the impact of radiation, Love applauds small enterprises like Mars One.He strongly believes private organisations will help raise awareness and hopefully discover or design some technology which will help future teams reach their goal of landing on Mars."We've been dreaming about this for 50 years. The Moon was just supposed to be a stepping stone to Mars. But when you study the problem, you realise it's immensely hard to do this."Many critics have focused on funding, and whether the project would hold the public's attention for many years. It will cost an estimated £3.8bn ($6bn) to send the first group.Dr Chris Lintott from Oxford University says that while the project is technologically plausible, he does not think they will find the funding."It's about having the political will and the financial muscle to make this happen. That's what nobody has been able to solve so far," he explains.A rover will land first to scout the best areaBut Lansdorp sees no issue with funding. He uses the revenue from the worldwide broadcasting rights of the Olympics as a comparison."This will be the biggest thing that humanity has ever done. In 15 years people will still be watching."Exploring our world, and now beyond is what humans do, it's in our genome. The settlers' dream of going to Mars will come true."Whether or not the mission will achieve its goal, the publicity generated from the "big-brother" style televised application process means the world will surely be watching.
     
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  2. It's going to happen sooner or later........

    I remember the moon base plans and using the moon as a staging post for Mars flights etc. Under current rocket fuel technology leaving Earth uses way to much fuel due to gravity.

    One of the plans was to build any given ship using local materials. More a city than a base. The film 2001 sort of gives the general idea with the space station used as staging post for flights to the moon and back. The black relic they found was in one of the mines.

    Would I go?...........40 years ago I'd jump at the chance...........now......probably to old.
     
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    • Bad Spelling Bad Spelling x 1
  3. Been signed up to the newsletter for months now, keeping a keen eye on it. If I had the skills I'd sign up without a doubt. Actually been meaning to email them asking what field would give me the best shot.
     
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  4. I don't want to go myself, but there's lots of people I would love to send on a one-way trip to Mars... and if Mars is too hard, straight into the Sun would do just as well.
     
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  5. Will there be bikes on Mars? :p
     
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  6. Damn you I'm now singing ziggy stardust with "the bikers from mars" and I can't work out what it is supposed to be.
     
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  7. right. so nobody read the bit about solar winds.
    you don't think that might be a slight problem when it strips of your flesh and you resemble a charred skeleton.
    see most people would find that a bit of a worry.
     
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  8. Didn't you ever watch Biker Mice from Mars?
     
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  9. Haha I forgot about that show. It was awesome
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. #11 phongus, Apr 22, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
    Yeah read that one before. Would be awesome to see happen in my life time.

    There is also Deep Space Industries (http://deepspaceindustries.com/) who are working on space mining to hopefully produce raw materials in space for people to use in space, rather than sending shipments of raw material. Add some sophisticated 3D printers and you may have a quick, relatively cheap, way of producing parts in space.

    Next would be building space ships in space...although that will be a long long way away.
     
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  11. Applications have opened, but there is an application fee.
     
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  12. How much are the tickets? ... I'd like to give out a few as gifts :devil:
     
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  13. Well, if you are getting a ticket for Denis, I'll chip in a few bob! ;)
     
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. They had something like 20,000 applications within a day or so of opening apparently. I sent them an email about qualifications but they never replied.
     
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