Anybody want to go to MARS … one way tickets only

mars-one-project-logoThe MARS One Publicity bandwagon is rolling on, this is the Dutch effort to establish a colony on Mars by 2023. It is a one way trip and apparently anybody can apply. I’ve blogged about them before both last January and also June 2012.

Now, before you get too excited and rush out to sign up, you may indeed wish to pause and consider that the sponsors for this venture into the unknown includes…

  • A Dutch ISP
  • A Finish electronics retailer
  • A Dutch law firm
  • An Australian SEO firm
  • A Dutch market research firm
  • A Hungarian language translation firm
  • A space-related software and games company
  • A British publishing company

Inspired yet? Oh but wait, it also has the backing of Paul Römer, the co-creator of Big Brother, one of the first reality TV shows and one of the most successful. On the website, Römer gave an indication of how the broadcasting of the project might proceed:

“This mission to Mars can be the biggest media event in the world,” said Römer. “Reality meets talent show with no ending and the whole world watching. Now there’s a good pitch!”

The latest news is that many have signed up

the project has already had 10,000 applicants, according to the company’s medical director, Norbert Kraft. When the official search is launched on Monday at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York, they expect tens of thousands more hopefuls to put their names forward.

Kraft told the Guardian that the applicants so far ranged in age from 18 to at least 62 and, though they include women, they tended to be men.

The reasons they gave for wanting to go were varied, he said. One of three examples Kraft forwarded by email to the Guardian cited Sagan.

An American woman called Cynthia, who gave her age as 32, told the company that it was a “childhood imagining” of hers to go to Mars. She described a trip her mother had taken her on in the early 1990s to a lecture at the University of Wisconsin.

In a communication to Mars One, she said the lecturer had been Sagan and she had asked him if he thought humans would land on Mars in her lifetime. Cynthia said: “He in turn asked me if I wanted to be trapped in a ‘tin can spacecraft’ for the two years it would take to get there. I told him yes, he smiled, and told me in all seriousness, that yes, he absolutely believed that humans would reach Mars in my lifetime.”

She told the project: “When I first heard about the Mars One project I thought, this is my chance – that childhood dream could become a reality. I could be one of the pioneers, building the first settlement on Mars and teaching people back home that there are still uncharted territories that humans can reach for.”

So there you have it then, lots of idiots volunteers ready to sign up, and apart from the complete lack of any actual funding, or the backing of anybody with any real experience or understanding of how to actually do this (unless of course Dutch ISPs and law firms also specialize in space exploration), I see no problem here at all.

I speculate that it will all pan out in one of the following ways …

  1. Either the volunteers get duped, are stuck in a tin can that goes nowhere are we all get to watch are they bounce off each other … reality TV style.
  2. There are no real volunteers, only actors, we all get duped into thinking it is real and get to watch them progress … when in fact nobody goes anywhere, it is just a TV show. They can of course string this variation out for years, not just the trip, but also the landing and their lives on Mars.
  3. Some mixture of the above, perhaps they will indeed dupe a few volunteers and all of us, but nobody actually goes anywhere.

My feeling is that it is No.2, it would be the most profitable.

What … me … skeptical!!! … gosh no, they are well on their way to getting the $6 Billion needed, they have already managed to get $72,220 in donations, so no need to worry about the financing. In fact I note that they have received funding from Iceland ($47 … no not 47,000 … just $47), and Colombia ($2) … ooooh generous.

On the other hand, if this is indeed happening, does anybody have any thoughts on who we could nominate for a one way trip to Mars?

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