BBC's science correspondent, Jonathan Amos, has accused the Mars One team of failing to recognise the dangers of radiation and has stated that "without a hardened habitat on Mars, cancer would kill them within a year."
Chris Welch, director of Masters Programs at the International Space University has said "Even ignoring the potential mismatch between the project income and its costs and questions about its longer-term viability, the Mars One proposal does not demonstrate a sufficiently deep understanding of the problems to give real confidence that the project would be able to meet its very ambitious schedule."
Space tourist Richard Garriott stated in response to Mars One, "Many have interesting viable starting plans. Few raise the money to be able to pull it off."
Robert Zubrin, advocate for manned Martian exploration, said "I don't think the business plan closes it. We're going to go to Mars, we need a billion dollars, and we're going to make up the revenue with advertising and media rights and so on. You might be able to make up some of the money that way, but I don't think that anyone who is interested in making money is going to invest on that basis — invest in this really risky proposition, and if you're lucky you'll break even? That doesn't fly."
Wired Magazine gave it a plausibility score of 2 out of 10 as part of their 2012 Most Audacious Private Space Exploration Plans.
Is this for real?
Yes it is! Mars One has been working on this project in secret since January of 2011. It has taken us until now to expose it publicly because we are now certain of its technical feasibility and means of finance.
A manned mission to Mars is expensive. We plan to fund it by making it the biggest media spectacle in history. This way, everyone will get the chance to not only watch the astronauts make their journey, but choose who gets to do so. Four people, icons, who will leave their life on Earth behind and start an adventure on a new planet tens of millions of miles away.
Hello Mr. Bas,
I was wondering how you planned on keeping the astronauts alive during transit. My senior design project in aerospace engineering at UIUC, along with 5 others, was to design a transit vehicle to Mars to orbit and return to Earth for 6 astronauts in 15 months.
There were multiple issues that came up such as the need for 8-9 launches for the necessary equipment and structures to go into space, the effects of microgravity on the human body and of course radiation. I have a ton of questions for you, if you do not mind. My specialty was ECLSS and so I will be focusing on that primarily.
In-situ resource gathering is obviously different but what are the plans for the transit vehicle? It states on your website that you will be using ISS technologies for the majority of the ECLSS system. However, the WRS is only about 94-95% efficient and the reports I found stated that about 900 kg of water a year is required to support it. A human in space requires about 30 kg/day for daily needs according to Dr. Hanford. Wouldn't it be better to utilize the VPCAR system instead? Also the WRS requires a mechanical compressor in space in order to separate air and the waste water. My question is what decision was to utilize the WRS as opposed to newer technology especially that of a TRL of 6 or higher.
The plan is to send 2500 kg of food in the year 2014. Would the food last for 8 years? Would that amount of food be enough for four astronauts for an extended period of time? Assuming that plants survived this would not be too large of an issue, however, it is not clear if plants could survive in the martian atmosphere. Would it be better to include a biomass production facility instead? How many refrigeration units would be required and how would they be powered?
The Falcon Heavy is not yet manrated or has even flown. If there was a delay in production of the Falcon Heavy would the Atlas or the Delta line of rockets have a large enough fairing diameter to house your payload?
I'm not sure how large the modules are, but would they allow at least 20 m3 of habitable volume for each human? This is the optimal case for such a long duration mission according to Human Spaceflight: Mission Analysis and Design.
How would waste be handled in transit and on Mars? In transit would it be jettisoned or stored as fertilizer? On Mars would the same occur? Which leads to:
If plants were grown would they be grown hydroponically or through soil? What plants would be brought and if grown hydroponically would the Hoagland's solution be stored or produced?
Would it be possible the shift the mission if a launch would fail? If a launch were to fail would there be a delay in the timeline?
On the website you state that it would be funded like a Truman Show type method. Would this be beneficial for the astronauts’ psyche? They are are going to be stuck for 7 months with each other and then on Mars. This was a major issue during the NASA programs.
What type of suit would be utilized? An EMU based or Orlan based suit?
Would spacewalks be necessary for the ships? Who would perform them? With only four people during transit how would they be divided? How many suits would be required?
The biggest limitation to the project seemed to be the human limits of radiation and microgravity. On the website it is stated that we are constantly bombarded by cosmic rays, however, the Earth's magnetic field protects us from this background radiation. Radiation was not my specialty in this project so forgive me if I make mistakes.
What methods would be used to protect against SPE? How much radiation would they incur over the 7 months in the current ships design? How much on Mars itself? It is still unclear if 2023 will be within a solar maximum until 2016. If it were to change could the mission be rescheduled.
On microgravity:Osteoporosis is not the only problem and while exercise and training can help mitigate the loss it is definitely not possible to stop it at all. What about the loss of blood and muscle that occurs from deep space travel? Most astronauts lose 2-3% of bone mass a month and regain it at a very slow rate through rigorous therapy on Earth. At 0.3 g it does not seem likely the astronauts will be able to regain it. There's also no indication that any fraction of Earth’s gravity is beneficial to humans.
Thank you for your time. It seemed that throughout the course of this project it was not very feasible to get to Mars in a decade and I was wondering how the Mars-One team was planning on addressing this along with many other problems that may arise.
…every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring—not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive.
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