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Mars One Selects Second Round Candidate Astronauts

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the right-red-stuff dept.

Mars 216

First time accepted submitter techfilz writes "The Mars One Project has selected 1058 second round candidates out of more than 200 000 applicants from over 140 countries. There are another two selection rounds to go before the lucky few get a one way trip to Mars. Starting in 2018, four astronauts will leave for Mars every two years to begin a human settlement partly funded by crowdsourcing and a reality TV show."

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216 comments

Seriously? (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#45821737)

I know, I know, everyone is going to be dogpiling Mars One for feasability, but...
The shoestring budget they'll get out of crowdsourcing and a TV show will launch people into space just long enough to kill them.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 months ago | (#45821797)

The shoestring budget they'll get out of crowdsourcing and a TV show will launch people into space just long enough to kill them.

Sounds like the gladiatorial arenas of Rome, except we're doing it in space. Send our "braves" in and watch them get slaughtered to the sounds of clapping and cheering. Oh sorry, forgot... we've evolved beyond the need to watch people get killed for our entertainment, right?

Re:Seriously? (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#45822273)

forgot... we've evolved beyond the need to watch people get killed for our entertainment, right?

of course not, havent you seen any of damn near every movie hollywood puts out? we all love watching people get killed

Re:Seriously? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 4 months ago | (#45822697)

I understand that it could be dangerous, but do you really think it's so dangerous that we are being willfully ignorant and sending people to their deaths?

Re:Seriously? (3, Insightful)

Kookus (653170) | about 4 months ago | (#45821829)

That's kind of the point. They'll be making a reality tv show to make some people some big bucks down here on Earth. Then launch the corpses into space.

I wonder if life insurance policies can be terminated for getting selected to be on that show :)

Re:Seriously? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821991)

Actually, Neil Armstrong was not able to get life insurance before the Apollo mission, where they had a 50% chance of returning alive. He signed hundreds of photos for his wife to sell for $50 each (or something like that). He tried to make sure she had enough to survive on if he died by selling his autographs.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#45821867)

The shoestring budget they'll get out of crowdsourcing and a TV show will launch people into space just long enough to kill them.

I don't think it'll even get them that far. There's the aspect of having a man-rated craft, a man-rated booster, and a man-rated habitat to deploy once getting there. If these three things aren't met then they can't even launch.

You know why military contractors don't usually change products, even when they're obsolete? Because it costs a lot of money to re-certify those products, especially things with life-support or energetic applications. You can't change even something as trivial as going from an SAE thread pattern on a hole drilled in a mounting ear to a metric thread pattern without re-qualifying, if that hole was provided pre-tapped. There are old products that have been granted exemptions to environmental law specifically because it's less costly to pay the environmental waiver than it is to qualify a new material or process that isn't bad for the environment.

If they can't demonstrate that they can launch a crew, convey them to their destination, and provide them with some form of functional shelter then they will never get off the ground.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45821965)

Even in failure, Mars One will teach us things we didn't know before, and lay the groundwork for future endeavors. If this isn't a worthy goal, I don't know what is. If they succeed, all the better.

What I don't understand is the people saying they shouldn't even try. I'm just glad our ancestors didn't think that way.

Re:Seriously? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45822035)

No one is saying that no one should try to get to Mars. That's completely different to pointing out that this is an obvious scam.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about 4 months ago | (#45822159)

What I don't understand is the people saying they shouldn't even try. I'm just glad our ancestors didn't think that way.

People say they shouldn't try because they don';t think that it's a credible attempt. We won't learn anything from it that we didn't already know (mainly, that it's not a good idea to base a manned space mission on plans for a reality TV show envisioned by two guys with marketing degrees and no understanding of science), and it'll poison the well for future legitimate attempts ("we already fell for that mars one scam, what makes you think we'll fall for your copycat attempt and sponsor you too?").

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822371)

Bas Landsdorp, the founder of Mars One, actually is a Mechanical Engineer, not an MBA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bas_Lansdorp

Re:Seriously? (2, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 4 months ago | (#45822325)

What I don't understand is the people saying they shouldn't even try

It's not that they shouldn't try, it's that they shouldn't waste everyone's time on what is so obviously a publicity stunt. No one is ever going to get to Mars with this plan.

Are you telling me that four years from now their launch vehicle, spacecraft, landing craft and habitation structures will be built and ready to be deployed? That the BILLIONS of dollars this endeavour will cost will have been raised?

Virgin Galactic hasn't even announced the date for orbital flights.

None of the world's space agencies have figured out how to land people on Mars.

...yet these jokers have it all worked out? I don't think so.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45822621)

The difference between you and I is that I don't know if it will work. You seem convinced there's no point in even trying. You're like somebody saying a ship will fall off the edge of the world if they sail off beyond the horizon. I'm saying, let's go find out.

Virgin is a for-profit company concerned very much with image. Their business model is entirely based around getting people back to Earth again safely. They're inherently risk-averse, because their passengers are paying to get home again.

NASA and other world space agencies lack the political support to do much of anything at all, and they are even more risk-averse than a company is, because what little support they do get is the result of a fickle public that's terrified of dead astronauts.

It seems to me, Mars One is a different beast entirely. It's a one way trip, and they seem very up front about the risk. I'm sure all 1058 volunteers in the second round are keenly aware they may die at any stage in this experiment, and have accepted that risk. It's a privately-funded, non-profit entity that doesn't need to worry about public approval, just public interest.

As for figuring it all out, we've known how to get to Mars for decades now. We've made great strides in landing technology, and awareness of radiation exposure with the latest Mars rover, among other missions. Their efforts to build the habitation structures on Mars will happen before they ever launch a live colonist, so if they can't do it, nobody will even be put at risk. Regardless of outcome, we'll have learned a great deal, found out where our limits are, and maybe pushed them a bit further.

Frankly I'm fed up with the complacency of this species, at everyone's willingness to just stay put on our fragile little world, and never try anything hard or dangerous. At least these guys are trying. Maybe they're naive, maybe they've under-budgeted and this will cost a lot more than they think, maybe things will go wrong, maybe some brave explorers will die. At least they'll have found where our limits are, instead of just guessing and naysaying when somebody thinks they can do better than those who came before.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45822667)

The difference between you and I is that I don't know if it will work. You seem convinced there's no point in even trying.

Nope, he's not saying there's no point anyone trying. He's stating that these specific people are scammers and there is not point in them wasting people's time because all it will do is hurt the credibility of anyone else who will try.

Re:Seriously? (1)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45822749)

What exactly is the scam? It's a non-profit organization, the risks are well known, and if it all blows up nobody's a winner. Well, the only winners will be the ones who learn from what went wrong and do a better attempt next time.

And whose credibility, exactly, will be harmed if this doesn't work? Another group trying the exact same thing you'd also disapprove of for the same reasons you disapprove of Mars One? Surely, this wouldn't harm the credibility of another company with a much larger budget and longer timeline and different method of funding, or a government attempt for that matter.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822675)

"Frankly I'm fed up with the complacency of this species"

I'm fed up with people who talk about the "species" but probably don't even talk to their neighbors, and spend their waking hours dreaming about 40 year old fantasies about space.

You want to talk about the species? Figure out how the 7 billion if us, you know, THE SPECIES, will make sustainable living arrangements right here on this planet. Because we're not going anywhere else, and neither are you.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822317)

These regulations don't apply to commercial vehicles. This is not a NASA or military operation.

Re:Seriously? (4, Funny)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45822023)

You're simply looking at this through the wrong perspective. This is a new and innovative way to win a Darwin Award.

Why does it have to be 100% safe? (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#45822281)

Going on ANY ocean voyage before the 20th century was risky in a whole bunch of ways. The food might kill you. The weather might kill you. The ship might kill you. Someone else you run across on the water might kill you. The crew might kill you. Whatever you run into wherever you go might kill you, be it people, animals, or geography.

Why the hell would we hold launching a rocket across the solar system to another planet to elementary school safety standards? Of course you could be killed. Climbing into a metal tube filled with 7 million pounds of rocket fuel and lighting it is inherently dangerous, even more so when you plan to travel across 40 million miles of space.

If we wait until it's as safe as riding an elevator we'll never get there. Exploration should never wait until it's proven safe.

Re:Why does it have to be 100% safe? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45822337)

Why does it have to be 100% safe?

It doesn't and they neither said or implied any such thing.

Re:Why does it have to be 100% safe? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#45822369)

There is a big difference between 100% safe and 1% safe. This Mars mission is much closer to the latter and therefore a scam. The problem is that if anything goes wrong they are dead as they have no backup or hope of rescue.. I put their chance of surviving more than 5 years at about 5%.

Re:Why does it have to be 100% safe? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 4 months ago | (#45822577)

"Why the hell would we hold launching a rocket across the solar system to another planet to elementary school safety standards? Of course you could be killed. Climbing into a metal tube filled with 7 million pounds of rocket fuel and lighting it is inherently dangerous,"

Especially if it has been built by the cheapest bidder.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822409)

I know, I know, everyone is going to be dogpiling Mars One for feasability, but... The shoestring budget they'll get out of crowdsourcing and a TV show will launch people into space just long enough to kill them.

Not true at all. It's this [imdb.com] kind of scenario. Just make sure you kill James Brolin first or you're screwed.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822447)

The shoestring budget they'll get out of crowdsourcing and a TV show will launch people into space just long enough to kill them.

Perfect !

Sure they will (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45821743)

Starting in 2018, four astronauts will leave for Mars every two years to begin a human settlement partly funded by crowdsourcing and a reality TV show."

[cough]Bullshit[/cough]

Re:Sure they will (2)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45821771)

You know, I want to believe this will happen, but I really can't. I don't mean the Mars One thing, in general, just the timeline of it. 2018 is crazy.

Re:Sure they will (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 4 months ago | (#45822121)

It can be done in 2018 if you had ~$10 billion and you're willing to launch without "man-rating" certification of your booster.

Falcon Heavy is coming along nicely and they could probably do a launch in 4 years if you prodded Elon with a few billion dollars. Throw another $5 billion or so for the spacecraft/lander/habitat and you could have one that will theoretically work (even if unproven).

Re:Sure they will (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 months ago | (#45822259)

It can be done in 2018 if you had ~$10 billion and you're willing to launch without "man-rating" certification of your booster.

Falcon Heavy is coming along nicely and they could probably do a launch in 4 years if you prodded Elon with a few billion dollars. Throw another $5 billion or so for the spacecraft/lander/habitat and you could have one that will theoretically work (even if unproven).

Who crowdfunded $10B? So far in 20 days they have $100,000, so they only need what another 19,980 days to get there...

Re:Sure they will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822351)

Throw another $5 billion or so for the spacecraft/lander/habitat and you could have one that will theoretically work (even if unproven).

Why waste money on testing when they've already established that everyone applying is fine with the one-way ticket aspect of the trip? The applicants clearly want to die in space. And apparently they've got 200,000 backup guinea pigs. Plus the reality show will get way better ratings after a few explosions and/or deaths.

Re:Sure they will (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#45821783)

Oh man, I didn't think about it until now, but "every 2 years" makes absolutely no sense. They'd be launching at furthest approach. They'll turn year long trips into multi-year trips, and all the provisioning that will require.

Re:Sure they will (1)

Kookus (653170) | about 4 months ago | (#45821845)

2 years is based on how many episodes of their reality tv show should play before they select a set of new "winners"

Re:Sure they will (1)

Kookus (653170) | about 4 months ago | (#45821869)

buuuut....
http://www.universetoday.com/14824/distance-from-earth-to-mars/ [universetoday.com]
May. 22, 2016 – 75.3 million km (46.8 million miles)
Jul. 27. 2018 – 57.6 million km (35.8 million miles)
Oct. 13, 2020 – 62.1 million km (38.6 million miles)

Looks like every 2 years is about the closest points anyways.

Re:Sure they will (2)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 4 months ago | (#45822137)

Except it doesn't work that way. The spacecraft doesn't move in a straight line and while mars and earth might be that close instantaneously, the rocket will need to head for where mars WILL be when they get there. They want to launch to minimize travel distance and time, not minimize the distance between the two planets.

Re:Sure they will (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821871)

Oppositions (Earth and Mars at their closest points on our respective orbits) seem to occur every two years or so, at least according to the internet (http://chapters.marssociety.org/toronto/Images/MiscEdu/Oppositions.jpg)

So as long as they time them correctly, "every 2 years" stands a reasonable chance of being "every opposition", and thus shortest flights.

Re:Sure they will (1)

geekpowa (916089) | about 4 months ago | (#45821909)

Actually this bit is superficially true. Or at least I think it is. Launch Windows [wikipedia.org]. Increasing credibility of this initiative overall from 0.000000000000000000000000004 to 0.000000000000000000000000005

Re:Sure they will (5, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 months ago | (#45821859)

"Starting in 2018, four astronauts will leave for Mars every two years to bury the previous four..."

Fixed.

Waste not, want not (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#45822047)

"Starting in 2018, four astronauts will leave for Mars every two years to bury the inedible parts of the previous four..."

Fixed^2

River Tam says (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 4 months ago | (#45822191)

"You're worried that we're going to run out of food. But that's not going to happen. ... We'll freeze to death first."

Re: River Tam says (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#45822375)

air, not food. and she was wong, space is a great insulator.

Re: River Tam says (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 4 months ago | (#45822567)

I was changing her phrasing around to match GGP's cannibalism theme. Apparently, you missed that.

Re: River Tam says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822639)

It's the Slashdot Hierarchy of Martian Deaths...it's like Maslow, but includes things like radiation exposure.

Re:Sure they will (2)

invid (163714) | about 4 months ago | (#45822633)

Starting in 2018, four astronauts will leave for Mars every two years to begin a human settlement partly funded by crowdsourcing and a reality TV show."

[cough]Bullshit[/cough]

Eventually the pile of corpses will provide sufficient material to create a viable biosphere.

First astronauts to land in 2025 (5, Informative)

Schrockwell (867776) | about 4 months ago | (#45821769)

From TFIndiegogo [indiegogo.com]: "This 2018 mission will be the first in preparation for human landing. The first Mars One crew is scheduled to land in 2025, with additional crew landing every two years. Before that, Mars One will have established a habitable, sustainable outpost via multiple missions scheduled between 2018 and 2022."

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (1)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45821801)

Yeah, okay. That's much more reasonable. Four astronauts blasting off for Mars in 2018, as awesome as that'd be, just makes no sense.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#45821843)

I guess Apollo managed to ramp up in 7 years, but that's still an absurdly compact time-table for a tiny venture. I want to see success, and be optimisitic, but this feels like a "too good to be true, so it probably isn't" pipe dream.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (2)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45821935)

At least they're keeping this in the news, in the public consciousness. I get depressed at how little interest there seems to be in trying the hard things, in sending humans farther away than they've ever gone before, in breaking speed records, in exploring new frontiers.

Will Mars One work? I hope so, with ever fiber in my being. Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't, but either way it will advance human knowledge, and maybe push our limits just a little bit further. What I don't understand is the people saying they shouldn't even try.

A scam for the gullible (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45822055)

What I don't understand is the people saying they shouldn't even try.

The problem isn't that someone shouldn't try. The problem is that we know a fair bit about how difficult an endeavor this is and what a credible effort would have to look like. We know that the technology to do this just isn't there yet and there is no credible evidence that it will be in the next 5-10 years. Sending even an unmanned probe to mars costs billions of dollars. These people are claiming their are going to send people there inside of 12 years? And they are going to do this by crowdsourcing what amounts to a suicide mission? Your bullshit detector should be in high alert.

This just reeks of a scam to separate gullible people from their money.

Re:A scam for the gullible (2)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45822229)

How exactly, does it reek of a scam? The technology has existed for decades, and in recent years we've learned a lot more. The only reason we haven't done it already is because NASA lacks the political support, and the public is terrified of even the slightest risk.

Re:A scam for the gullible (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#45822433)

You missed a major issue. Most people are not willing to spend billions to send people on a suicide mission to Mars for no gain. Thee is nothing that people can do that can't be done with rovers and for a much lower cost.

Re:A scam for the gullible (4, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 4 months ago | (#45822495)

The technology has existed for decades

Actually, no.

We can send robots to Mars, but we still don't have the technology to send people there -

- A craft that can support people for the ~200-day journey to Mars through interplanetary space (including protecting them from ionizing radiation) has never been built and we don't know how.

- The creation of a landing craft is a tremendous challenge. Granted, Mars One is 'supposedly' a one-way trip so many of these issues are mitigated, but assuming the astronauts would want to come home you need to launch from the surface of Mars and then return to earth. No craft that has ever landed on Mars has returned to terra firma.

Wired had a good overview of these issues here -

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/31/getting-to-mars [wired.co.uk]

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 4 months ago | (#45822419)

What I don't understand is the people saying they shouldn't even try.

I won't go so far as to flat out say "They shouldn't try".

What I will say is that I can see some moral issues raised by this project.

They're sending human beings on a one-way trip to Mars. The one-way aspect is a big deal here. The plans for financing this are revenue generated from a reality TV show? How many TV shows remain popular for an entire human lifetime? Exactly none that I'm aware of. And what about any children born on Mars? Now they have to fund this for more than one human lifetime.

The way I see this playing out, if it gets off the ground, is that in a relatively short time the organization's funding dries up, at which point world governments get stuck with the burden of either sending continuous supply missions, or mounting rescue missions.

I do believe this project has a slim, outside chance of actually landing people on Mars. Do I think this project has the potential to live up to their obligation to keep the colonists supplied for the long haul? Not a chance in hell.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (1)

otuz (85014) | about 4 months ago | (#45822075)

Yes, but it was all-new tech back then. It's not so much about science and research anymore, just about finance and engineering to pull this off.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#45822177)

Er, no, long term sustainable off earth colonization is far from established technology. Landing on mars isn't even a very established technology.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 4 months ago | (#45822389)

I guess Apollo managed to ramp up in 7 years

Yes, at a cost of $100 Billion dollars in today's money.

Let's be generous and say that a lot of the 'inventing' Mars One requires has already been done and slice that number by a third. That's still 33 billion dollars.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822689)

It really depends on the goals of the project. If the goal is to create a livable habitat on Mars where humans live relatively normal lifespans, they yes, it's absurdly compact.

But if the goal is to raise as much money as possible, skim a ton of it off the top, and then have the project collapse before even making it to the launchpad and blame the complexity and audaciousness of the task, then the timetable makes complete sense. Putting out a date that's too far into future wouldn't allow for publicity stunts like asking for volunteers from currently-able-to-consent humans. And dates too far in the future might discourage donation from people who figure to be dead by the launch date.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (2)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45822205)

Before that, Mars One will have established a habitable, sustainable outpost via multiple missions scheduled between 2018 and 2022."

Ah, no, I don't think so.
There isn't enough money for the research, let alone construction of such a sustainable outpost in that time frame. Getting it landed on Mars, assembled and tested is out of the question in that time frame.

We don't even know what "sustainable" means in the context of a planet where the atmosphere is 96% CO2 and atmospheric pressure is .0059 that of earth.

Just the energy needs alone would exhaust our already threatened supply of nuclear fuel. Sixteen kilograms, the amount of useable plutonium-238 currently accessible by NASA. But s 10-pound chunk of plutonium can only produce about 2,268 watts of power in a MMRTG, and such a "sustainable" habitat would require far more than 2KW. Anyone speculating turning over that much plutonium to a reality show funded organization is just bat shit crazy.

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (1)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45822265)

I assume, like absolutely everything else humans have ever done before, it will go over budget.

So, if it goes over budget, you still think it's impossible?

Re:First astronauts to land in 2025 (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45822321)

Virtually everything else humans have done has also gone beyond deadline.

So if you extend the budget to the equivalent of the Iraqi war effort combined with the Afghanistan war effort, and extend the time line another 50 years, then yes, anything is possible.

But by that time, and with that budget. return missions would also be possible, which removes the requirement for soliciting whack-jobs for a one way mission.

reality show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821793)

i cant wait for the first moron to get voted off the spaceship and shoved out the airlock. no reunion show for you.

Re:reality show? (3, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | about 4 months ago | (#45821881)

Realty show has a bad connotation to it. It's more like a documentary program.

Anyway, I'll never understand why people are such naysayers about Mars One, especially on sites like Slashdot. At the very least, they are keeping extraterrestrial colonies in the public consciousness, something we should be celebrating. Even if this project ends up with some fatalities, name one human migration that didn't result in some deaths, or one exploration mankind has undertaken that wasn't risky. Early efforts of course are going to be dangerous, perhaps unwise, but if we were too scared to take risks we'd still all be living in African treetops.

Re:reality show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822437)

Except more likely they "founders" will walk away with everyone's money. Most likely, it will be under some stupid guise of no network sponsorship, but the idea is the same.

I know you really want to believe this is true, but it is much more likely to be a scam than anything since it uses a tried and true formula.

Re:reality show? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#45822553)

Because the truth of the matter is that we just aren't anywhere nearly ready for human colonization of Mars. I'd dare say that most of the people who try going anytime in the remotely near future won't even reach their destination alive.

Unmanned mission in 2018 (4, Informative)

XMark3 (2979399) | about 4 months ago | (#45821809)

They are not going to be sending people starting in 2018. The 2018 trip, if it actually happens, will be an unmanned demonstration flight. I'm not sure how realistic the whole idea is but I'll wait to see if they actually do that unmanned trip before getting excited about Mars One.

Re:Unmanned mission in 2018 (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45821901)

They are not going to be sending people starting in 2018.

Or ever most likely. This whole thing just reeks of scam.

Re:Unmanned mission in 2018 (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 4 months ago | (#45822669)

They are not going to be sending people starting in 2018. The 2018 trip, if it actually happens, will be an unmanned demonstration flight.
I'm not sure how realistic the whole idea is but I'll wait to see if they actually do that unmanned trip before getting excited about Mars One.

They will disappear with the money long before then.

Right (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#45821815)

Starting in 2018, four astronauts will leave for Mars every two years

Kinda like "I will win the lottery".
How do these blatant PR articles get posted anyway. Lets stop giving any credence to this scam.

Here it comes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821819)

Schedule slip starts in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

I'll be watching with popcorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821839)

In four years we're going to go from sending one ton probes to four people with consumables?
Yeah..... sure.... with all those secret Saturn 7's they say they never built...

Re: I'll be watching with popcorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822341)

I had to read that twice before realising you didn't say Secret santa

Scam (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45821891)

This is a scam. Seriously, I know we're all interested in visiting Mars but this whole thing just reeks of a scam. It's not technologically feasible and the costs would be astronomical if it were a real endeavor, particularly given the timelines. Only a motivated nation-state would have the resources to even hope to pull something like this off inside of the next 30 years. Someone is trying to scam a bunch of overly enthusiastic people out of a bunch of money.

Re:Scam (1)

fermion (181285) | about 4 months ago | (#45822395)

The incentives of the nation state are different from pure exploration. The incentives are either to be first, to establish national ownership, or research. No one nation can currently claim a planet. The precedent has been set with Antarctica, as well as more explicitly with the moon treaty.

So the question is why send anyone off earth. It is risky, expensive, and provides no value. The answer is of course entertainment. A Space Shuttle used to cost around half a billion to launch. Harry Potter probably cost as much to make if distribution and publicity are added in. Everyone says how much it costs to go to space, but those costs are not uncommon in other areas.

The people in Mars One are not likely to survive to reach a standard life expectancy if they travel to mars. They may die on the trip. They are volunteers giving their lives. I expect some of them to make it to the hatch and refuse to enter, or even get fully strapped in and then demand to get out. I often say I would die for the opportunity to go to space, but I really don't know if I would have the courage to sit there on a million pounds of explosives and actually go through with it. I would hope the show producers would actually do some science so these people would not give their lives just for entertainment.

Here is the final note. If they Mars One team dies on launch, en route, or on the planet, there is a whole range of liability and monetary claim. For instance in the Colombia disaster there were apparently million dollar awards from the manufacture as well as lawsuits fired against the government. The compensation for private disasters such as this are going to be different and not government backed, which means that liability exposure might be much less. For instance, the family of a women killed during a stunt for a reality show on the Discovery channel is asked for a mere $75,000. In other words, it is probably cheaper to have someone die as part of a tv show than as part of a legitimate research mission.

That said, I think this may be a scam as well. They will have actually launch a test vehicle in the next year if they are going to have a human certified ship in four.

Re:Scam (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#45822627)

If they Mars One team dies on launch, en route, or on the planet, there is a whole range of liability and monetary claim.

If???

It's all but a foregone certainty that some will die en-route... and I can't imagine those who survive the trip, if any, will live much beyond the first year.

Recall, for instance, just what the survivability rate was for people trying to get to the "new world" from Europe in the 1500's. And that was on a boat surrounded by a perfectly breathable atmosphere!

People are going to die... and it's not going to be pretty.

martian food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821931)

So I guess the monsters on Mars only need to feed every two years.

God (0)

TempleOS (3394245) | about 4 months ago | (#45821979)

examining faulty negligence imperfection mastery neck cheer fearfully child existeth exultation Dispenser belong Public extracted confuted grave dust whereby Being harmony shade exact shop zealous gleameth devoutly either crimes emblem indicating familiar threatenest multipliedst valley Can copyright reclaiming attempted sun fling MERCHANTABILITY leading stir conveyed fit government preachings call procure into while TO children herb Verecundus seeketh Paulus cogitation grievously surpassingly wealth models government childhood Else station Run wearisome bird deprived talked hand-writing -nor thus expression vowing command-line unusual perfecting flowers loves disorder consisting Bridegroom harmonious unwarmed pages believer shame troop dead emptinesses -unto hereon sharp createst bargain moment preserving departing accounted fancy lacketh recalled lick pears disgusted hand-writing antecedent stars predestinated intoxicated variable drops strength therewith convertedst some hungering thread evidently tones countermanding University nuts fasting beat Catholics superstitious Themselves extinguished wearisome dissolvest seats engage prison Oratory ungodly lungs treasured VIII dreadful comprised impatient their strengtheneth forethinking devoutly family-estate Special dragons Latinum regenerated extol excellence reporters clog itself begannest count taughtest prepares floods

Sponsored by what 3D printer company? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45821989)

As we all know, the species is on the verge of having magical machines that can make anything at all from plastic. I've been assured that a Makerbot, a plastic filament printer, can make metal rocket nozzles. I hope they pack a 3D printer to Mars.

'Diversity'... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822019)

I wonder how many non-whites they'll have on it. Can't have an ALL WHITE crew, can we, that would be 'racist'. In fact, why not have an ALL BLACK crew - see how far they get. LOL.

Are you sick of 'diversity' yet? Sick of your own country being invaded by millions of hate-filled third world parasites, who clearly can't stand living among THEIR OWN KIND? If they don't want to live with their own kind, why should we?

Don't discount this so quickly (5, Informative)

Simon321 (1933722) | about 4 months ago | (#45822097)

Lansdorp himself is a successful entrepreneur, here [ted.com] is a ted talk about his last company. He sold his stake and has been using the profit he made there to get Mars One off the ground for the past 3 years.

Among the people supporting them are:
  - Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Prize winning Theoretical Physicist
  - Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of the Mars Society
  - Terry Gamber, worked on the lander designs for the Viking mission
  - A very large number of experienced people (see their website Advisers [mars-one.com], ambassadors [mars-one.com])

They don't plan to develop much of the technology themselves, they're planning to buy it from other companies mostly such as SpaceX. Most of this technology exists already. They have written statements of the companies that they are willing and able to supply these things.

List of the technology they want to use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One#Technology [wikipedia.org]

The total cost is estimated at $6 billion. Technology has come a long way, this combined with the privatization of space has caused costs to drop significantly. The falcon heavy for example costs only $77-135M to launch (2013).

They plan to get this through sponsorship deals. They're going to broadcast the entire thing on TV. Which makes sense, the olympics receives 6 billion dollars for 1 billion viewers. The moonlanding in 1969 had 500 million viewers. The population of the earth was only 3,5 billion back then and people weren't as well connected as they are now. So imagine how many viewers a colony on Mars would get?

No one says it's guaranteed that they will succeed, but i think they should try, and we should support it.

More information can be found on their website and IndieGoGo campaign:
http://www.mars-one.com/ [mars-one.com]
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mars-one-first-private-mars-mission-in-2018 [indiegogo.com]

The campaign is just to help pay for the Lockheed Martin study and to convince sponsors there is enough interest. I have donated myself, and advise people who think space exploration is important to do the same. It's risky, but it's high impact.

Re:Don't discount this so quickly (1)

Simon321 (1933722) | about 4 months ago | (#45822115)

Also, there is an error in the summary. The rover/communication satellite will be going up in 2018, but the first astronauts won't be leaving until 2024.

And if they fail -- so what ? (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about 4 months ago | (#45822133)

Humankind will learn a lot more from a Mars One failure, even now, in this early stage, than from all of us remaining seated on our butts. In the unlikely case that Mars One does not fail, we'll collectively learn even more. Where is the problem ?

Re:And if they fail -- so what ? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 4 months ago | (#45822443)

I'm all for starting manned missions again, but this reeks of a publicity stunt at best and a scam at worst. Even if they do launch people into space, will this actually result in any useful data or will it just air on TV as "Survivor in Space" (minus the surviving)? Just another brainless reality show and this time one where people volunteer to essentially be killed in as entertaining a manner possible.

Re:And if they fail -- so what ? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#45822473)

The issue is that failure taints the next expedition to another planet or moon that might succeed. No matter what they officially call it the new expedition will be called "Mars Two". With that failure record attached to the project good luck finding funding. Secondly all the wasted investment in a project that is in reality a scam could have gone to something actually useful.

Re:And if they fail -- so what ? (1)

DM9290 (797337) | about 4 months ago | (#45822659)

We'll learn that there are some things that are simply too expensive to fund by voluntary donations and advertising dollars.

Who is gonna pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822189)

What is going to happen to the settlers if organizers run out of money? A reality TV show, as well as crowdsourcing, can fail financially.

Smoke and mirrors (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#45822299)

Has anyone looked at the site?
Look at this page [mars-one.com]. Notice they lump Donations and Merchandise together but forget to subtract the costs related to the merchandise. Revenue [wikipedia.org] is not net revenue [wikipedia.org]. Note the expense graph does not even have a section for merchandise expenses and displays percentages and not dollar amounts. Why no dollar amounts? Maybe because they don't want us to know how much money they are hiding. Note they say "income from donations and merchandise have not been used to pay salaries" so what are they used for and where does the money to pay salaries come from? Also, technically speaking, if a person is paid through a contract it is not a salary so people could be paid from those revenues.

On this page [mars-one.com] they say "On December 10th, Mars One launched their first ever crowd-funding campaign, focused on bringing funds and attention to the first mission". There is no link. Where is the campaign? Maybe they don't want us to see how badly it is going.

From this page [mars-one.com];

Norbert Kraft, MD, received "The NASA Group Achievement Award 2013", it is one of the most prestigious awards a group can receive, and is presented to selected groups who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the NASA mission

This makes it seem that Dr. Kraft received the award for work on Mars One but Mars One never appears in the list.He got the award for work on another project. Also notice that between the annual and semi-annual awards 44 different groups were recognized in one year. How many groups are working on space related projects? The award does not seem all that prestigious to me. It looks more like NASA slapping themselves on the back.

I like this segment;

Lansdorp says, “We fully anticipate our remaining candidates to become celebrities in their towns, cities, and in many cases, countries.

If by celebrity you mean laughing stock you may be right. You have seen Jersey Shore [wikipedia.org].

This is one of the biggest scams in history to make money for the people pushing it.

1058 remaining applicants identified (1)

fox171171 (1425329) | about 4 months ago | (#45822493)

The Mars One Project has selected 1058 second round candidates out of more than 200 000 applicants... the lucky few get a one way trip to Mars.

So... out of 200,000 applicants, apparently 1058 were telephone sanitizers.

Hitchhiker's guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45822579)

Did a planet send off all its middle managers to a new space colony promising that the rest would soon follow?

Ah, I see where you've gone wrong there (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#45822767)

There are another two selection rounds to go before the lucky few get a one way trip to Mars. Starting in 2018, four astronauts will leave for Mars every two years to begin a human settlement partly funded by crowdsourcing and a reality TV show.

You say that like it's actually going to happen. It's not.

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