Mars One is about collecting application fees. Their timeline is pure fantasy, not even pretending to have anything to do with reality. Their economics for a manned trip are pure fantasy.
That doesn't mean nothing good will come of it. They're planning an unmanned lander - paying Lockheed Martin to build a duplicate of their Phoenix Lander.
They've raised $544,026 collecting application fees. Now they just need to raise the other 99.9985% of the $350 million needed to build the lander. If they do that soon, perhaps LockMart can have it built by their 2018 launch date. And assuming they can con a second similar round of would-be astronauts to raise the same amount, then they just need to raise the remaining 96% of the $56.5 million Falcon 9 launch cost.
This is a non-starter. We can't send people to their deaths unless it's to save lives. What we need to do is research faster propulsion systems, shielding from cosmic radiation, and pseudo gravity systems.
Apparently it takes less resources to supply astronauts on Mars and keep them alive for the rest of their natural lives, than it would take to return them to the earth.
Colonies - even the ones in the new world centuries ago - ARE one-way trips. You're "sending people to their deaths" only in the sense that they'd die of old age and the usual other causes, decades after arriving.
Of course that's for a realistic Mars one-way program, not this little fantasy.
The 1% appear to desire separation from the rest of us. Mars would seem ideal. They could afford it too. I don't fully understand why we're waiting.
I think it's easy to say that they will die of starvation, lack of water, and lack of air sooner than later. We will have to listen to their cries by radio. No. Faster crafts, more safety, and a return flight. You're exoplanet visa has been denied.
They are not going to a new land. They are going to a new world. That is a big difference.
Of course, Europeans didn't establish any permanent colonies in the new world until they'd already made a successful round trip.
Actually, they did. On his first voyage Columbus left 39 men, founding the settlement of La Navidad at the site of present-day Môle-Saint-Nicolas, Haiti.
I live in Manitoba, where the temperature will routinely stay below -30 for an entire month. Colonists on even a minimal one-way trip to Mars will likely arrive better prepared for the environment than the colonists who arrived here in Manitoba.
Hopefully the natives will help take care of them...
But Columbus didn't embark on that voyage without the ability to return, or the intent of leaving those 39 men to fend for themselves indefinitely.
Colonists on even a minimal one-way trip to Mars will likely arrive better prepared for the environment than the colonists who arrived here in Manitoba.
At least they didn't have to bring their own oxygen or water to Manitoba. I'd be more apt to believe that we have the technological capability to found a self-sustaining colony on Mars if we first demonstrated the ability to do so in Antarctica.
It's not looking like colonists will have to bring water or oxygen to Mars either. Mars Direct, from the book, brought oxygen. But that was before we found plenty of evidence of water on Mars.
I agree about Antarctica. I'd also like to see a large robotically tended greenhouse on Mars for a few years. (This has been done on a small scale in Canada's arctic.) But again I'm talking about a credible colony, not Mars One.
And a mere one-way mission - the astronauts supplied from earth for the rest of their natural lives rather than the more expensive task of bringing them home - need not be self sufficient.
Why can't we? Let's face it: everybody dies, no exceptions. Being born puts you under a death sentence, the only things open to debate are when and how. Now, a suicide mission, one where there's no chance of making a go of it, that'd be right out. But one where there'd be the equipment and supplies to stand a reasonable chance of making a go of it (eg. having the stuff to build greenhouses for food and oxygen, and basic supplies for long enough to be able to build and bootstrap what we need), I'd jump at that chance (though in my case age and physical condition would probably disqualify me). My view on it is that if it doesn't work out then it didn't work out, and at least I went out having taken my swing at it. If you try there's always a chance you'll fail, but you'll never do if you never try.
You think nobody died opening the American West? You think nobody joined a wagon train until there was no chance Indians or bandits or breakdowns or weather could leave everyone dead or stranded with no hope of rescue? Hah.
Ethics would only rule out a suicide mission. But no-one is calling for that.
We're talking about a one-way trip - likely for colonization - where people would still have normal life-spans. Supplying even a mere explorer on Mars for the rest of his natural life is easier and cheaper than returning him to Earth.
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