A Colony On Mars
And now we save the best for last. At least in my opinion. Back in June 2012, an initiative was announced to begin work on an incredibly unique and groundbreaking project. The initiative and subsequent venture are called Mars-One. It is a dutch based operation headed by Dutch businessman/entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp. The initiative has been endorsed by a few heavy-hitters in the world of physics and business; and initial funding has caught the eye of a few prominent sponsors.
Unlike many other ventures, Mars-One isn't just looking to reach for the starts; it is looking to live on 'em. The visionaries at Mars-One are looking to put a permanent colony on the red planet. And the way they plan to do it is bat-**** insane.
Mars-One wants to build and maintain the Mars colony via a "global-reality TV media event." They plan to televise most every detail of the Mars colony's establishment. Then Mars-One plans to send additional astronauts to the Mars colony every two years or so. In total, forty-astronauts will eventually be sent to the Mars colony. Oh, and it's a one way trip (no way back). Below is a little snippet of their project itinerary:
• 2013: The first 40 astronauts will be selected; a replica of the settlement will be built for training purposes.
• 2014: The first communication satellite will be produced.
• 2016: A supply mission will be launched with 2500 kilograms of food in a modified SpaceX Dragon.
• 2018: An exploration vehicle will launch to pick the location of the settlement.
• 2021: Six additional Dragon capsules and another rover will launch with two living units, two life support units and two supply units.
• 2022: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy will launch with the first group of four colonists.
• 2023: The first colonists will arrive on Mars in a modified Dragon capsule.
• 2025: A second group of four colonists will arrive.
• 2033: The colony will reach 20 settlers.
On a personal note, I really admire the Mars-One initiative. In the end, it may not work but it deserves a good try. I picture in my head a global reality show with longer life and gusto that American Idol and X-Factor combined. Forty astronauts, each with interesting personalities, different skills and smarts to boot, journeying far beyond the edge of humanity. What could be more exciting to watch?
I actually sent my resume and a long winded cover letter to Mars-One. Just on the off chance they were hiring.