Mars-One plans to send the first human colonists to Mars – a one-way trip. Here’s what some of the wannabe colonists say:
- This is a dream job for me — a dream job! I was always attracted to the unknown, to know what is out there…So I was crazy about Mars. latimes interview
- We stagnate here on Earth. We are so predictable… Just think about if we start to live on another planet, what a breakthrough. We will be a totally new kind of human, homo sapiens Martianis. latimes interview
- I believe the potential benefits of the Mars One project far outweigh the potential costs it may have to me, personally. I believe these benefits will be scientific progress, which can benefit all of us on Earth. mars-one profile
One hundred finalists have been selected that meet Mars-One qualifications: They are “intelligent, creative, psychologically stable and physically healthy… resilient, adaptable, curious, creative, resourceful, and have ‘self-informed trust.'”
For comparison, here’s some of what you need to become a NASA astronaut:
- Have a technical background – at least a Master’s degree – such as medicine, chemistry, biology, or veterinary science, or especially engineering.
- Excel at everything you do, whether mountain climbing, scuba, music, dance, or competitive sports
- Meet rigorous physical and psychological standards
- Be a person others like to work with
- A pilot’s license seems to be a big help
- Be lucky
I suppose being lucky applies to Mars-One candidates, too. But NASA’s astronauts will come home after their missions. At least, that’s the plan.
Polar explorers in the Victorian age withstood incredible deprivations and were sometimes confined to a ship trapped in the ice for months. These were usually private expeditions undertaken to satisfy curiosity and a need for adventure or to claim the glory of being a “first.” But the explorers planned to return home to claim their fame.
Colonists must build a new home on Mars, and I imagine that is easier said than done. In my scifi novel Glory on Mars, I give my colonists plenty of electrical power and robots to build living space – and things still go horribly wrong. The more I think about it, the harder colonizing Mars sounds.
Would you go?