Permanent vacation to Mars
January 9, 2013 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Mars One is now accepting applications for its Human Settlement on Mars in 2023. Here is how you apply.
posted by rokabiri (88 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know several people already planning on applying.
posted by jaduncan at 8:43 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mars One is now accepting applications for its Human SettlementSacrifice on Mars in 2023.

Truth in advertising.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:44 AM on January 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


And for a small monetary donation, you too can be considered for this exclusive offer!

Or am I just cynical?
posted by blue_beetle at 8:45 AM on January 9, 2013


It actually says they are going to start accepting applications in the first half of 2013. You'll have to subscribe to their astronaut application newsletter to find out when.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:47 AM on January 9, 2013


Considering that they want you to have practically perfect dental health to even do research in Antarctica, I assume there is no way I would pass this physical.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:47 AM on January 9, 2013


Characteristic: Resiliency

Practical Applications:

Your thought processes are persistent.
You persevere and remain productive.
You see the connection between your internal and external self.
You are at your best when things are at their worst.
You have indomitable spirit.
You understand the purpose of actions may not be clear in the moment, but there is good reason—you trust those who guide you.
You have a “Can do!” attitude.


Are any of these practical applications? I never thought the first generation of Mars settlers would be selected by mealy HR speak.
posted by Think_Long at 8:47 AM on January 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Also the red circle of Mars on my browser tab makes this site look like it's hosted on about.com.
posted by Think_Long at 8:48 AM on January 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Your thought processes are persistent.
You persevere and remain productive.
You see the connection between your internal and external self.
You are at your best when things are at their worst.
You have indomitable spirit.
You understand the purpose of actions may not be clear in the moment, but there is good reason—you trust those who guide you.
You have a “Can do!” attitude.


Ideally you will also have a PhD.
posted by jaduncan at 8:48 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the Wikipedia page:
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.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:49 AM on January 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know this is all very cool and exciting in its way, but I just can't stand the idea of supporting life on another planet by siphoning off resources from this one when we already have so many people here who don't have enough food, clean drinking water, basic medical care, or suitable habitation.
posted by orange swan at 8:49 AM on January 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


This, from the FAQ, is brilliant:
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.
I sincerely hope they (or, really anyone) succeed, but all I can imagine is Prometheus.
posted by stubie at 8:50 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


These guys either have precious little understanding of the actual challenges involved or are counting on us to have precious little understanding of the actual challenges involved for their own fundraising purposes, guess which one I think it is.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:50 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


> I know this is all very cool and exciting in its way, but I just can't stand the idea of supporting life on another planet by siphoning off resources from this one when we already have so many people here who don't have enough food, clean drinking water, or suitable habitation.

Dr. Sagan would agree with you.
posted by stubie at 8:52 AM on January 9, 2013


Either way, it's probably best if you don't drink the water.
posted by Kitteh at 8:53 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]



I have some people I'd like to send to mars. Enough to fill an ark.

A B-ark.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:53 AM on January 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


but all I can imagine is Prometheus

You mean the mission is going to be so boring I won't even watch it to the end?
posted by NorthernLite at 8:55 AM on January 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


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.

This year! Big! Brother! Space!

Lucy hasn't completed the weekly challenge, and so her team members have had the radiation shielding removed from their cabin. Will they survive? You'll have to come back after this break to find out! [etc]
posted by jaduncan at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Smell You Later
posted by bricksNmortar at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Isn't Mars covered in hydrazine? Assuming the radiation doesn't kill you, the pollution definitely will.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2013


Characteristic: Resiliency

Practical Applications: You understand the purpose of actions may not be clear in the moment, but there is good reason—you trust those who guide you.


This is really not my definition of "resiliency".
posted by adamdschneider at 8:57 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


"without a hardened habitat on Mars, cancer would kill them within a year."

Couldn't they just dig? Shielding is hard to do on a spacecraft, but for a planet-based habitat so-and-so many meters of dirt and rock ought to do the trick, no?

The big worry isn't that shielding would be difficult but that their promotional materials indicate that the need for it hasn't occurred to them.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:57 AM on January 9, 2013


I assume that this is another one of those false flag efforts to discredit an idea by mingling it with copious stupid and linking it in the public mind with blithering idiots. Y'know, kinda like Loose Change.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:58 AM on January 9, 2013


Your thought processes are persistent.
- Hang on, what's this survey for?
You persevere and remain productive.
- God this stupid thing sure is long.
You see the connection between your internal and external self.
- Who said that? Wait, is anyone talking? Hang on, what?
You are at your best when things are at their worst.
- WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME THAT IS SOMETHING BAD GOING TO HAPPEN OH GOD
You have indomitable spirit.
- God, I'll never get into this stupid program.
You understand the purpose of actions may not be clear in the moment, but there is good reason—you trust those who guide you.
- Why the hell should I answer this stupid question?
You have a “Can do!” attitude.
- Eh, depends.
posted by griphus at 8:59 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


By the time this person would land on Mars as an astronaut, he or she would be 28 years of age.

Is that Earth-years or Mars-years?
posted by griphus at 9:01 AM on January 9, 2013


Couldn't they just dig? Shielding is hard to do on a spacecraft, but for a planet-based habitat so-and-so many meters of dirt and rock ought to do the trick, no?

There's big trenches that would be a good option; depending on site not that much digging would need to be done as the sun never gets into some of them.
posted by jaduncan at 9:01 AM on January 9, 2013


Oh, and as a writer/ PR person, this is probably the last time you'll ever hear me complain that the communications people are involved/ featured too prominently. But looking at this page as if I were a potential astronaut, I’d prefer to see more about the technical/ medical team than the Concept Artist and the PR intern.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:02 AM on January 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


This guy has been trolling Reddit for months. There is almost no chance this is more than just a pump and dump scam.

Their funding strategy seems to be "make media spectacle, get enough money to get peeps to Mars".

http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/ufb42/ama_i_am_founder_of_mars_one_sending_four_people/
posted by sideshow at 9:05 AM on January 9, 2013


A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies!
posted by FatherDagon at 9:06 AM on January 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Couldn't they just dig? Shielding is hard to do on a spacecraft, but for a planet-based habitat so-and-so many meters of dirt and rock ought to do the trick, no?

Well, sending up a backhoe and loader with the team would substantially increase the weight and cost. Then, there's the issue of providing adequate shielding for the crew over the many days and weeks while they dig and construct the underground facility. In the end, you'd still have to supply adequate above-ground shielding anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:08 AM on January 9, 2013


Here is how you apply.

Can I apply on the behalf of other people?

Their funding strategy seems to be "make media spectacle, get enough money to get peeps to Mars."

I'm guessing that the funding strategy is "make media spectacle, raise money, profit!"
posted by octobersurprise at 9:08 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


That PR intern has a real "these people are crazy, but I'm banking on the weirdness of this being eye-catching on my future resume so don't judge me" look going on in her headshot there.
posted by Scientist at 9:09 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I highly recommend reading Packing for Mars. It looks at a lot of practical considerations for long term spaceflight. As space nut who thinks NASA's budget should be double if not quadruple what it currently is and that we should be building lunar bases right now, it give me enough pause to think "mmm, ok maybe not so fast".

Couldn't they just dig?

Yeah, but with what? How deep? Is Martian terrain harder to drill into? They had the problem on the moon, underneath the loose dust was an incredibly difficult layer of "soil" to deal with.

Radiation shielding isn't that hard in theory. Six feet of water should be enough, according to Packing to Mars. But how the hell do you get and keep six feet of water around a space ship or base?

Another suggestion was to deposit fecal matter around said ship or base, so you'd have a limitless supply. Obviously, there would be other issues.

Anyway, this is a great excuse to post a link about the Nautilus-X. It's a deep space ship concept, for 4-six astronauts, with artificial gravity and what not. Not surely if it's practical, but it looks sporty and dreamy. And the makers of the proposed centrifuge are reportedly set to announce an agreement with NASA to build inflatable modules on the ISS, so fingers crossed!

I'll be in my bunk.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:17 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Curiosity Rover sent back data last year that indicates the radiation level on the surface of Mars is safe for humans. The trip there (and, theoretically, back) is the real concern.
posted by something something at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2013


I just can't stand the idea of supporting life on another planet by siphoning off resources from this one when we already have so many people here who don't have enough food, clean drinking water, or suitable habitation.

Yes, because obviously everything used on Earth is absolutely dedicated to the essential survival of humanity and the welfare of all and is not wasted at all on things like 18 hole golf courses in the desert, deep fried bacon wrapped twinkies dipped in chocolate, annual iPhone upgrades, and nuclear powered submarines carrying enough warheads to wipe out an entire country.

I'm being snarky, but I don't understand why space exploration is always slammed for being useless, even when some of it would actually be helpful (especially something like a global asteroid monitoring system).
posted by FJT at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2013 [26 favorites]


This has to be a viral ad, right? ... for the new Phil Dick-based video game Martian Time-Slip? Please?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


What movie is this for?
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:23 AM on January 9, 2013


(I will also take a game based on Rick Moody's Four Fingers of Death.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:23 AM on January 9, 2013


(or The Martian Chronicles, for that matter.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:24 AM on January 9, 2013


They once made a game based on Ubik.

We don't talk about it.
posted by griphus at 9:25 AM on January 9, 2013


Oh! I know Indomitable Spirit!!!
posted by symbioid at 9:35 AM on January 9, 2013


[Patrick Starr Meme]

WHY DON'T WE TAKE THE LIBERTARIANS THAT WANT TO CREATE THEIR OWN "GONE GALT" ISLAND NATIONS

AND PUT THEM ALL ON MARS?

[/Patrick Starr Meme]
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:43 AM on January 9, 2013


I never thought the first generation of Mars settlers would be selected by mealy HR speak

Requirements:

– five years of experience working on Mars
.
posted by zippy at 9:43 AM on January 9, 2013 [28 favorites]


Questions that went unanswered in their AMA reddit thread:
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.
    posted by Blasdelb at 9:48 AM on January 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


    [Patrick Starr Meme]

    WHY DON'T WE TAKE THE LIBERTARIANS THAT WANT TO CREATE THEIR OWN "GONE GALT" ISLAND NATIONS

    AND PUT THEM ALL ON MARS?

    [/Patrick Starr Meme]


    [Giorgio Tsoukalos Meme]

    ALIENS.

    [/Giorgio Tsoukalos Meme]
    posted by griphus at 9:49 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    The trip there (and, theoretically, back) is the real concern.

    I thought this is for a permanent settlement; they're not coming back, right?

    That said: this is happening right when I've been having a tough go of it at my job, so can someone volunteer to be my sponsor so I can contact you when I've had a bad day rather than applying to this when I get all caught up in my "OMIGOD GET ME AWAY FROM HERE MARS IS NOT FAR ENOUGH FROM THAT WEIRD GUY SID IN THE COMPANY CAFETERIA" fugue states? Thanks.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:49 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


    Practical Applications: You understand the purpose of actions may not be clear in the moment, but there is good reason—you trust those who guide you.

    In the context of 'this is possibly a reality TV stunt', this becomes a lot more clear.

    My worry is power; there's a lot of hand-waving about ultra-thin solar panels (and no nuclear reactor!) but this seems remarkably poorly thought through for a plan which says "We'll mine Martian soil, then heat it to evaporate it, then cool it to condense it." And then you're going to use even more power to break that water into oxygen and hydrogen!
    posted by Comrade_robot at 9:52 AM on January 9, 2013


    Previously.
    posted by MsVader at 9:53 AM on January 9, 2013


    oh please please please please please take the Republicans
    posted by Flunkie at 9:55 AM on January 9, 2013


    Ideally you will also have a PhD

    I don't know anyone with a PhD who does not have higher than average resiliency. You need possibly more resiliency than even astronauts need, just to finish.

    I want to go. But I'm old and mentally unstable. Maybe I can stowaway?
    posted by jb at 10:00 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    This project seems like a publicity stunt.

    However - NASA is actually working on a mission to mars. Their main problem right now is funding.

    I was wondering why NASA did not somehow crowdsource part of the funding. How much do you think a kickstarter for a mission to mars would muster ?
    posted by Riton at 10:05 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Think_Long: "Are any of these practical applications? I never thought the first generation of Mars settlers would be selected by mealy HR speak."

    There's no "I" in "Mars".
    posted by brundlefly at 10:14 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    This sounds so much like the early colonizing schemes of Europe: keep sending over the desperate, the criminal and the crazy until they stop dying immediately and hope they start sending worthwhile stuff back home.

    Except I guess the worthwhile stuff will be "watching poor schlubs go crazy and/or die on Mars." That will probably sell a lot of ad space, for sure.
    posted by emjaybee at 10:21 AM on January 9, 2013


    After watching this Space Station walk through video I could totally see why you would need a positive outlook and a indomitable spirit. I highly recommend watching this video, it was fasinating to see how they live and interact in such a foriegn enviornment.
    posted by brinkzilla at 10:36 AM on January 9, 2013


    I was wondering why NASA did not somehow crowdsource part of the funding

    What the hell do I fill out a 1040 for?
    posted by Think_Long at 11:10 AM on January 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


    I am picturing the DoD as the school bully who breaks NASA's glasses and takes its lunch money.
    posted by griphus at 11:21 AM on January 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


    I was wondering why NASA did not somehow crowdsource part of the funding.

    As a government agency who has to seemingly fit for every penny, I doubt they want deep their toe into that lake. I'm not even sure it's legal for them to do.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:25 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I was wondering why NASA did not somehow crowdsource part of the funding.

    Yes! We could have community projects that all do it through one centralised crowdsourcing process and then have a body that would put everyone's crowdsourced money to the best projects.
    posted by jaduncan at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


    What the hell do I fill out a 1040 for?

    Yes! We could have community projects that all do it through one centralised crowdsourcing process and then have a body that would put everyone's crowdsourced money to the best projects.

    I see what you're doing there!

    But this would be different in that:
    a) it would be open to international donations
    b) Lord British and Richard Branson could give as much as they wanted

    And personally, I think I would actually gladly pay in a little more than my taxes here to see that project materialize... and I don't think I'm alone in that?

    I agree though, that the legal implications/feasability are pretty messed up.
    posted by Riton at 11:35 AM on January 9, 2013


    I'm being snarky, but I don't understand why space exploration is always slammed for being useless, even when some of it would actually be helpful (especially something like a global asteroid monitoring system).

    Because it is kind of useless. Unless you actually have a goal in mind, like creating a asteroid monitoring system. In which case you try to avoid any superfluous sidetracks, like setting up colonies that don't need to be set up.
    posted by 2N2222 at 11:36 AM on January 9, 2013


    Only if I get to go alone.
    posted by WalkingAround at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2013


    Now about the return trip...
    posted by Cranberry at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2013


    The issue is generally that people don't wish to give to a body as rich as USG.

    Set against that, you could probably work something with a Kickstarter Rewards type deal; that's essentially just a bigger souvenir shop.
    posted by jaduncan at 11:41 AM on January 9, 2013


    > But this would be different in that: a) it would be open to international donations b) Lord British and Richard Branson could give as much as they wanted

    Can't they already? Or is that just for American citizens?
    posted by The corpse in the library at 12:01 PM on January 9, 2013


    I stand by my initial reaction about how the TV series would go down.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 12:07 PM on January 9, 2013


    I was more excited about moving to Mars until I realized it would be much like Felix Baumgartner's time in the capsule at 128,000 feet altitude, except worse in every possible way.

    Really, living on Mars is not going to be even close to fun--even for the sort of people who might consider living at the South Pole or climbing Mt Everest "fun".

    A "suicide mission" to Mars wouldn't be some glorious spacefaring adventure of exploration, but more like a horrible, miserable, gruesome, boring, painful, and likely unsuccessful slog of death for no reason whatsoever.

    Curiousity seems to be rather enjoying its time on Mars. Let's let the robots go to town for now and humans can think about colonizing sometime later on when we've engineered ourselves to be impervious to radiation, heat, and cold and to live without air, food, or water.
    posted by flug at 12:31 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Really, living on Mars is not going to be even close to fun--even for the sort of people who might consider living at the South Pole or climbing Mt Everest "fun".

    It really depends on the person and duration. Some will get a thrill out of it, others less so. Careful screening will be important.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:36 PM on January 9, 2013


    Cordwainer Smith solved the radiation in space travel problem: Line the hull of the ship with live oysters!
    posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:38 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I would love to go, to be one of the mars colonists. Hell, I could even be their resident xenobiochemist with only a smidge of training.

    Problem is, I'm pretty sure they aren't going to figure out how to cram a 6'6" frame into one of those tiny capsules.
    posted by Slackermagee at 12:43 PM on January 9, 2013


    In 10 years, I will still be just young enough to conceive and birth the first Martian.
    posted by DoubleLune at 12:54 PM on January 9, 2013


    Cordwainer Smith solved the radiation in space travel problem: Line the hull of the ship with live oysters!

    That's not radiation; shucks, that's the great pain of space.

    Checks chest-mounted punometer. Reading is amber.
    posted by zippy at 1:08 PM on January 9, 2013


    Maybe The Terrible Secret of -- I mean, The Great Pain of Space is radiation.
    Or, y'know, caused thereby.
    posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:11 PM on January 9, 2013


    I want to go and I promise that I will almost certainly not go bugshit as I gaze at the Earth across the vast emptiness of space ...and probably will not hack up my fellow settlers while a driving soundtrack blares away, causing people to stop, just for a second, and ask themselves "Is that Anthrax?"
    posted by Kafkaesque at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2013


    If it won't be use it'll be somebody. The view of Earth from Mars is pretty small, when it can be seen at all.

    Everything you've ever known, loved or loathed will be just be speck of light in the sky, as soon from video screens or through the glass of your spacesuit.

    That said, Mars might be a little easier on the psyche. Lunar astronauts reported being weirded out because there was no sound or movement on the moon. Just the dim whire of environment system in the lunar module and if that stopped, you knew there was trouble.

    At least on Mars, there's some wind and presumably the sound of it.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:35 PM on January 9, 2013


    Really, living on Mars is not going to be even close to fun--even for the sort of people who might consider living at the South Pole or climbing Mt Everest "fun".

    It really depends on the person and duration. Some will get a thrill out of it, others less so. Careful screening will be important.


    Hmm, it wasn't until this comment that I realized Peter Watts may have something to say about this whole venture...
    posted by adamdschneider at 1:37 PM on January 9, 2013


    Everything you've ever known, loved or loathed will be just be speck of light in the sky, as soon from video screens or through the glass of your spacesuit.

    That's how it'll feel when you land. Ten years later, the people you know and love or loathe will be drawn from among your fellow colonists, and you'll probably feel pretty happy about life in general, because that's how human beings work.

    Unless you're one of those people who still goes to high school reunions, in which case you should probably stay on Earth.
    posted by Mars Saxman at 2:21 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    My money is on them pulling a Truman Show-type prank on the selected astronauts. They sequester the "colonists" as soon as they're selected and eventually have them board a "spacecraft" and we're treated to "The Real World: Mars!" for four years, after which they open the hatch upon landing and they're greeted by a big "Surpirse!" banner.

    Alternatively, they could have a bunch of actors dress up as Santa and martians to greet them.
    posted by ooga_booga at 2:55 PM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


    Dr. Sagan would agree with you.

    I don't think so. Isn't a lot of Pale Blue Dot an argument that in order to survive (and in order to properly appreciate the Earth) we need to colonize space--sooner rather than later?
    …every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring—not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive.
    posted by jjwiseman at 3:09 PM on January 9, 2013


    (And since he wrote Pale Blue Dot, after Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter, we've witnessed several other large impacts on Jupiter--any one of which would have had a good chance of wiping out all human life if they had hit Earth.)
    posted by jjwiseman at 3:13 PM on January 9, 2013


    That's how it'll feel when you land. Ten years later, the people you know and love or loathe will be drawn from among your fellow colonists, and you'll probably feel pretty happy about life in general, because that's how human beings work.

    No, you'll feel great after you land and for some time after. "WOOO, I'm on Mars" will definitely be the theme for a while.

    Then you'll start wishing you could go outside without suiting up, maybe go for a stroll or a swim, listen to the birds singing.

    Then you realize that Mission Control won't let you go anywhere, unless it's Station #8 to finish the geological survey that had to be cut short because Ted got sick in the rover again and the smell was awful and really, you're going to be here forever, so why not finish the survey later?

    Goddamn Ted. That asshole ate the last of the algae burgers and it'll be three weeks before new ones can be grown.

    Wait, what were we talking about?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:26 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    In 10 years, I will still be just young enough to conceive and birth the first Martian.

    Poor kid :(
    posted by anonymisc at 3:45 PM on January 9, 2013


    In 10 years, I will still be just young enough to conceive and birth the first Martian.

    Poor kid :(


    Yeah, without a doubt, when she has her birthday party, it will be a god-awful small affair.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 3:58 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Yeah, without a doubt, when she has her birthday party, it will be a god-awful small affair.

    Not only that, but someone stole her sweetroll.
    posted by jaduncan at 4:48 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


    > My money is on them pulling a Truman Show-type prank on the selected astronauts. They sequester the "colonists" as soon as they're selected and eventually have them board a "spacecraft" and we're treated to "The Real World: Mars!" for four years, after which they open the hatch upon landing and they're greeted by a big "Surpirse!" banner.

    Have you heard of Space Cadets? (Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
    posted by yuwtze at 9:27 PM on January 9, 2013


    Cool your jets (ha!), folks. Most Mefites are already too old to go.
    posted by deborah at 11:01 PM on January 9, 2013


    "This is something that has amazing historic value--the transformation of humanity from a single planet species to a multiplanet species," Dr. Zubrin said. "You only live once,” he said. “To have the chance to do something like this is profound."

    ...did Dr. Zubrin just YOLO this?
    posted by jaduncan at 3:21 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I'm an excellent candidate for living on Mars because I love being in a subway car, and would love to spend the rest of my life in one so long as there was red dirt outside, and I had to work really hard just to not die horribly every day.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 3:31 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


    May I propose Piers Morgan ?

    It would have to be a one-man mission, for obvious reasons.
    posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:59 AM on January 10, 2013


    If Flinkenflögel's going, i'm going.
    posted by xjudson at 10:13 AM on January 10, 2013


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