If you're connected to me on LinkedIn or following me on Twitter, you've probably noticed some updates about Mars One, a not-for-profit organization that plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2023. So pretty much, the colonization of Mars, something that I've talked about or referenced to in nearly all of my Astronomy-related presentations, so it shouldn't be surprising that I'm promoting such a mission.
But can it really be done?
Well, I'm in no position to guarantee it to be successful, but I can guarantee you that I would be insane with joy once people set foot on Mars. Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO, as well as the rest of Mars One, seem to have a nice plan though. More importantly, that plan is actually being put into motion. So this isn't some kind of fun idea that's being tossed around by some random people online. In addition to being a born entrepreneur, Bas also has a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Twente. With that, along with the numerous qualified team members, advisers, and ambassadors of Mars One, it's also not some kind of business venture that just has a great business plan that "just needs the right science guys."
While the plan involves the use of current technologies, as the need for a return trip is gone, future developments will definitely be incorporated as much as possible, depending of course on the suppliers as Mars One doesn't plan on manufacturing it themselves, another reason for me to accept the feasibility of the plan as there are numerous private suppliers like SpaceX that are quite capable, and experienced, with producing the equipment needed for the mission.
Even with all of these, however, there are still doubts about it's feasibility, which I can understand as calling this a major project is a great understatement. Once again, as I'm not a scientist or engineer, I can't really defend that aspect. However, I can say that it is very possible to raise the $6 Billion in estimated costs for the mission with their business plan.
One Way Astronaut
With the Astronaut application process well underway with over 100,000 applicants , it's hard to ignore what could possibly be going on the minds of the people who have applied. I've heard people say that they're suicidal, or that they're mentally unstable and shouldn't be allowed to participate at all. While I generally disagree with such statements, I can understand where they're coming from and I do share some of their concern regarding mental stability. I think Bas puts it perfectly though when he says, "We're not going to Mars to die. We're going to Mars to live."