Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ONE WAY TRIP TO MARs – 4 at a time

Would you like an adventure? The adventure of a lifetime, for a lifetime: where you are forever fighting for your survival in a world where breathing is not guaranteed, where water takes work, where every necessity once available off the shelf, now requires great effort. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity in many ways, but the commitment required is a lifetime – however long or short that may be.

The Mars One foundation is going ahead with its plans to send people on a one way trip to Mars. The plan begins first with an unmanned mission launching in 2018. This will contain both a robotic lander and a communications satellite. Its purpose? To demonstrate technology that will allow the formation of a permanent human settlement. The humans would follow in 2025, if all goes well.

This mission is privately funded. It seeks to send people in 4’s. Additional crews will follow every two years thereafter. The trip has been planned as a one way trip for many reasons. First is cost. Oh, and apparently the technology doesn’t exist for the return trip. Mars seems to lack a launch pad.

Yes the escape velocity on Mars is half of Earth’s, but twice that of the Moon. Escape Velocity is where the kinetic energy of an object is equal to gravitational potential energy – necessary to ‘escape’ the subject planet- Earth’s is 11.2 km/s, Mars is 5 km/s, and the Moon is 2.5 km/s) The difference it has to the Moon’s means that a simple lander such as used for Apollo would not work. 

In order to increase the likelihood of the unmanned lander being successful, Mars One/Lansdorp plans to base its design on the successful NASA-Phoenix mission.

Mars One is looking at different funding strategies, one of which is reality TV, although there are many others in the mix. Still since the plan is to provide a stream of constant communications, Media contact will be constant and the interest level to view the daily interactions and how they fare would certainly be high.

In addition to the travel of the pioneers, Mars One will also carry experiments. Science experiments, yes, but it is not limited to that. There will be a world-wide university challenge to decide which experiments are sent.

So, do you consider yourself a pioneer? Would you consider going to Mars? There’s a chance you be a TV star? Of course you can’t collect your Emmy in person and I hear the mail is slow! Still, wow; the adventure; it would be awesome!

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