Space

Mars One reduces colonist pool to 100

Mars One reduces colonist pool...
Artist's concept of the Mars One spacecraft to bring the colonists to the settlement
Artist's concept of the Mars One spacecraft to bring the colonists to the settlement
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Unmanned lander designed to act as vanguard for the Mars One settlement
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Unmanned lander designed to act as vanguard for the Mars One settlement
Sketch of the Mars One settlement
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Sketch of the Mars One settlement
The Mars One settlement consists of a series of Dragon capsules
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The Mars One settlement consists of a series of Dragon capsules
The settlement would be constructed by robots
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The settlement would be constructed by robots
The colonists would arrive in a modified Dragon spacecraft
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The colonists would arrive in a modified Dragon spacecraft
Artist's concept of the Mars One settlement
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Artist's concept of the Mars One settlement
Artist's concept of the Mars One spacecraft to bring the colonists to the settlement
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Artist's concept of the Mars One spacecraft to bring the colonists to the settlement
The Mars One colonists would have no hope of returning to Earth
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The Mars One colonists would have no hope of returning to Earth
The settlement would be constructed by robots
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The settlement would be constructed by robots
The colonists would arrive in a modified Dragon spacecraft
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The colonists would arrive in a modified Dragon spacecraft
Artist's concept of the Mars One settlement
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Artist's concept of the Mars One settlement

The Mars One project aimed at starting the first permanent human settlement on the Red Planet has reduced its pool of prospective colonists to 100 candidates. According to the non-profit company, the selection was winnowed down from the original pool of 202,586 applicants of people from all walks of life from all over the world. However, questions remain about the viability of the project.

The third-round selection was from 660 second-round candidates and includes 50 men and 50 women, consisting of 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. It was based on online interviews with Mars One Chief Medical Officer, Norbert Kraft, that were intended to determine their understanding of the risks of the mission, team spirit, and motivation.

Announced in 2012, the Mars One project aims at landing four colonists on Mars in 2025, where they would remain for the rest of their lives with additional colonists sent as Earth and Mars come back into the right launch position every 18 months or so. Living in habitats set up previously by unmanned rovers, the colonists would live off the land for their raw materials while being the focus of a reality television show beamed back to Earth.

Artist's concept of the Mars One settlement
Artist's concept of the Mars One settlement

Despite the progress made by Mars One's candidate selection, the project has attracted a great deal of skeptical comment. The company says that it can start its Martian colony for US$6 billion, of which only about US$760,000 has been raised so far. Such an amount, even if raised, is extremely modest for a manned Mars mission involving multiple rocket launches and the development of a number of technologies, such as Mars-rated spacesuits and highly sophisticated robots to build the outposts.

Mars One has said that it plans to raise the money by means of a tie-in reality television show, but recent reports indicate that this has fallen through. Astronaut Chris Hadfield also expressed reservations and suggested that the applicants needed to ask hard questions about the technology and reasoning behind the project. In addition, an MIT study calculated that should a successful landing be made, the outpost's life support system would fail within 10 weeks of the first landing.

The colonists would arrive in a modified Dragon spacecraft
The colonists would arrive in a modified Dragon spacecraft

Another point is that Mars One has shown remarkable optimism about third-party suppliers and off-the-shelf technology to solve problems that even NASA finds daunting, such as building a spacecraft capable of getting to Mars on a very low budget, building a manned spacecraft capable of a powered landings on Mars, and constructing life support systems capable of keeping a permanent settlement alive for an indefinite period of time. Yet despite this, the company not only remains firm after 5 years of work, but boasts in its materials that this is a one-way mission with no hope of the colonists ever seeing Earth again. This raises the question of whether the lack of a return option is a technological limitation or a selling point for a television drama.

This question is reinforced by the selection process. The company claims that over 200,000 people have applied, but this was cast into doubt when only 2,782 video applications were counted on the Mars One website. The application process requires an application fee and a video, where they candidate explains why he or she is suitable for the mission. Though a sense of humor is requested, no technical or other qualifications are requested beyond reasonable health.

The settlement would be constructed by robots
The settlement would be constructed by robots

The 100 Mars One candidates are a long way from the Apollo missions, where the astronauts were top-flight, trained to the ninth decimal place test pilots in peak condition – some of whom had PhDs. The current round includes actors, former ballet dancers, liberal arts students, a NASA flight engineer, and a quantum biologist, with ages ranging from 19 to 54. The latter means that if the 2025 launch date holds, the first colonist could be 65-years of age on landing.

According to Mars One, the next round of selection will include demonstrations of their suitability and teamwork at an Earthbound copy of the proposed Mars One outpost. Candidates not selected can reapply when new application rounds open this year.

The video below introduces the third round candidates.

Source: Mars One

The Mars 100 - Mars One Astronaut Selection Round Three Trailer

12 comments
Rehab
Perhaps they can borrow the movie set they used to film the fake lunar landings? Also, a few practice rounds in the Nevada desert might be in order. Did the applicants actually pay for this opportunity, how much?
jimbo92107
"In addition, an MIT study calculated that should a successful landing be made, the outpost's life support system would fail within 10 weeks of the first landing." However, this does not negate the statement that Mars One travelers will spend the rest of their lives there. The half-assed nature of this "plan" kinda reminds me of Marshall Applewhite's Heaven's Gate cult: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Applewhite They were going to rendezvous with the Hale-Bop comet and get new bodies from some friendly aliens. One important distinction is that Applewhite killed just 37 people. Mars One plans to kill 100 people.
Dylan Sheets
Mars one isnt sending all 100 people to mars. Only 4. It says so I'm the article. And also if you believe that the moon landings were fake, get off this website. This is A science and gadget website. Not a conservative forum.
Kristianna Thomas
It used to be that we were supposed to dream big, but now it seems that we have a fear of going (fearlessly) into the night. We want to send 4 people to mars and call it a colony, so if we send 8 people would that constitute a nation? More than that would make it an Empire. If it is to be only four people; Adam, Eve, Cain, and Able, maybe they should colonize the moon instead. The moon is closer and can be resupplied with air, water and food; just like the ISS. The facility could be a lot bigger and hold a lot more people. Could the Lunar Station hold up to 4,000 people, and be stationed for years at a time? A R&D center for technological development that would develop the tech for planetary habitation? Why the big rush to Mars? I know. We have been to the moon, so its like we been there and done that. Although, we did not stay there.
Nik
This seems like an expensive suicide mission. The surface temperature of Mars is -60C, or colder so energy requirements just to stop from freezing to death would be enormous. There's no surface liquid water, and no oxygen worth counting on, the atmosphere being about 95% CO2, and highly toxic. All the living modules would require airlocks that would evacuate all the air, or the air to breathe would be steadily lost every time anyone exited the module, or a huge influx of CO2 would enter on re-entry. [CO2 in the Earths atmosphere is about 0.04%] There is zero possibility of growing food except in the living modules, and sunlight is very weak, so artificial light would be essential. The only likely source of power that would be viable would be nuclear, which introduces its own dangers, and the problem of cooling arises, as there is no surface water to draw on. I think 'the rest of their lives,' might be very, very, short, and a reality show, maybe just one edition, and then RIP.
kmccune
What little hope I had for the success of this venture,faded when reality bit.If we are going to colonize enviroments like this,then a little bioengineering is in order. Until we can produce craft like the EBEs flit around in,we are just not going very far,if we had swift spacecraft then we could establish camps on places like Mars,until then,sending anybody there,is tatamount to burying them alive. Crazy as it seems,the Govt may already posses the technology to make advanced spacecraft(see the disclosure project) but its a Genie that for whatever reason that maybe shouldnt be let out of the bottle right now. What will probaly happen is when these technologies emerge.they will prove so absurdly simple,that the average man will not have to be in chains any longer.
Bob
A lot of people have died just trying a trick and yelling "Watch this!!!". This project might have some merit if it where sustainable. But as far as I can tell from what has been published, with no proven large supply of natural resources, it is doomed sooner or later.
Richard Unger
They won't get there alive; technology has to be invented to get them there safely. As yet does not exist, life support, radiation protection, and fuel. These kids that think they will be going are dreaming, it won't be them that goes, maybe their children possibly. It’s ridiculous to think they will send anyone to Mars in the next 30 years more than likely much longer, we can’t even get to LEO reliably.
Hugh Mcbroom
Such extreme pessimism from the article writer and posters, for that MIT study, the reason why they stated the life support would only last 10 weeks is they believed that the amount of plant life required would rapidly cause a build up of dangerous levels of oxygen and that the atmosphere would need to be bled off with nitrogen used to maintain balance which would be in limited supply, this seems short sited to me because separating oxygen from the atmosphere is a reasonably trivial and well understood precess so that the habitats nitrogen doesn't need to be vented. the whole premiss for the one way trip is that its significantly cheaper and easier to do then a return trip. and Nik, i do not know if you realise this but in your comment you mention that the habitat will have both cooling and heating issues at the exact same time which is a contradiction and the atmosphere would have a pressure value below that of the habitat so there would be no influx of CO2
Germano Pecoraro
Why Mars? Why not the Moon? It confuses the space colonization with Mayflower of 1600