Mars One Finalist: “I Could Sow the Seeds of a New Civilization”

By Hannah Earnshaw, Durham University | February 20, 2015 2:41 pm
Hannah Earnshaw - student, scientist, adventurer. Photo by Monica Alcazar-Duarte

Hannah Earnshaw – student, scientist, adventurer. Photo by Monica Alcazar-Duarte

I have always been in awe of the night sky, trying to comprehend the vastness of space and the countless wonders it contains. But I have always felt a certain dissatisfaction with only being able to see it at a distance.

One day I imagine that humanity will be able to visit other planets in the solar system, and venture even further to other stars, but this has always seemed very far away. That’s the reason why I applied for the Mars One mission, aimed at starting a human colony on Mars – it seemed like a real opportunity to get closer to the rest of the night sky, to give me a chance to be a part of taking humanity into the stars.

Mars is, in a way, the perfect stepping stone into the rest of the universe. Despite its inhospitable conditions, it has a day-night cycle only 39 minutes longer than on Earth. Unlike the moon, it is resource-rich, and has a soil and atmosphere rich in water and nitrogen respectively. Mars does not suffer from the sweltering heat and toxic atmosphere found on Venus, closer to the sun from Earth, but still receives enough light from the sun to enable the generation of solar power.

More than Science

As a PhD student carrying out astronomical scientific research, I’m naturally drawn to the research possibilities on the surface of Mars. We’re already able to achieve amazing things with the rovers we’ve landed there. But there’s only so much that a robotic rover can do compared to what a human on the surface would be capable of, what with the ability to physically apply a range of techniques and make immediate decisions instead of having to wait for commands from mission control on Earth.

Being able to study the geology of Mars up close would be the ultimate research opportunity, answering questions about the history of the planet and the solar system. However the scientific value of a mission to Mars, while enormous, isn’t all the mission could provide.

The social and political implications of a colony on another planet are staggering, and its development will be fascinating. Will the Martian colony be its own political entity? (I hope so.) If so, how will it relate to Earth? What will Martian society, kick-started by an incredibly diverse and intelligent group of just 40 people, come to look like in the decades to follow colonization? Will it remain very connected to Earth, or will its start to develop its own culture, with its own customs, habits, and rituals for birth, death and other significant moments of life, such as one’s first step onto the Martian surface? What sort of a world will our descendants inherit – and will they remain friends with their cousins on Earth?

An artist's impression of the Mars One settlement. Courtesy Mars One

An artist’s impression of the Mars One settlement. Courtesy Mars One

The Journey of a Lifetime

When I applied for Mars One, I applied to dedicate my life to the creation of a colony that will have enormous implications for the future of the human race. It’s in many ways a monumental responsibility, a life’s work much bigger than myself, and one for which I feel no qualms about the fact that it’s a journey from which there’s no coming back.

I feel very aware of the dreams of all those people who wished to travel in to space, to colonize other planets – and I do so on their behalf, as well as for myself. I want to have lived my life doing something that wasn’t only what I wanted to do, but something that will have a lasting impact on our collective future.

I’m 23, and the past couple of years have been uncertain: stepping through the application for Mars One, even though I’ve made the shortlist of 100 I’m still unsure whether I’ll be selected. Hoping that I am suitable, but ultimately wanting the very best and most capable people to go, I have had to hold two possible futures in my mind.

In one, I complete my PhD, get a place of my own, pursue a career in research or maybe in politics. I get really good at playing piano, I find time to travel to Norway, Italy, Canada, and Japan, and maybe find a husband or wife.

In the other, I leave behind the possibilities of Earth for the possibilities of Mars. Alongside my crew I pioneer planetary scientific research and, as the founding member of a new civilization, I plant the seeds of a diverse and generous society. I communicate our life to followers on Earth, help establish new policy through which humans explore and settle the stars ethically and responsibly… and maybe find a husband or wife.

Both futures hold so much potential that there will be a real sense of loss when I know which path I am on, but also a real sense of purpose.

I have very high hopes for what we can achieve by colonizing Mars. The mission is a difficult one, but I believe the plan is feasible and Mars One is capable of pulling it off. And when that happens, it will be an incredibly diverse group of people from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds working together to represent the human race on a new planet, backed by the investment and support of millions of people across the world.

Mars One is the people’s mission to Mars, and I am honored to be a part of it.

The ConversationThis article was originally published on The Conversation.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Top Posts
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  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    If you are phakic, radiation cataracts are induced during the trip and thereafter from no atmospheric shielding and no planetary magnetosphere. Instrumental readouts for the unsighted? An opthalmologist must be made pseudophakic after all launches. Intense vibration shakes loose intraocular lenses. Aphakic requires ridiculous convex lenses. Your descendants must live underground, under at least 1.033 kg/cm^2 overburden (one yard thickness of lead equivalent).

    The past Ice Age’s land bridge from Asia and Pennsylvania Amish for scaling. The minimum human population that can breed in isolation to establish a healthy new population is around 1000. Particulate osmosis. Fine dry dust in vacuum ruins all resealables and moving parts in contact.

    How will you lobby Congress to stay alive? Your carbon and especially fixed nitrogen are what you brought along. 4-6 torr (in the lowlands, in summer) is not much of an atmospheric resource. Remember the Bio-dome (w or w/o Pauly Shore). You must be a baby machine (with all males; no Pampers). What about diversity?

    • splitcro

      Nice party pooing there Mr. Al.

      Still, I believe, or at least hope so, that this group of people will not be the last one to occupy Mars, which partially solves your criticism on “establishing a healthy new population”.

    • splitcro

      And these people may find their soul mates up there, but nobody mentioned procreation at these phase of the project. That still makes them a part of a new generation and a new society that will one day emerge on our neighboring planet.

      And for that, I salute them and wish them all the luck! We’ll be watching their every move and be with them until their last moment…or ours.

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        but nobody mentioned procreation at these phase of the project.” What do you think people do? Give people a free ride and their lives sum to screwing and drugs. “a new generation and a new society” National prisons. How did those work out? Screwing and drugs.

        An object of affection will say “No,” and the killing begins.
        “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

        • Mike Richardson

          WTF? Is there a coherent strain of thought somewhere there? I caught references to Hal, but otherwise, “huh?”

    • YeahRight

      Supply with food is not much of a problem. A human being can live on approx. 100kg of dry rations a year, which would be a trivial amount to get to Mars at a reasonable cost. Yes, the radiation will force them underground, but then, the “scenery” will become very tiresome after a few months, anyway.

      • Come on think!

        Yup but water is sorta importent.

        • YeahRight

          It’s easy to recycle pee. I think they are doing it on the ISS already.

  • Mike Richardson

    I’d love to see the colonization of Mars in my lifetime, something that seems more than overdue given the pace of the early space age. But I really hope that this group doesn’t attempt to survive on Mars before the technology to do so has been thoroughly tested. Nothing would set back space exploration more than watching a live (well, minus the lightspeed delay) video of would-be colonists dying from radiation poisoning, asphyxiation, or starvation. There will need to be back-ups of back-ups, lots of spare provisions, and fabricators for making spare parts. Mars may be the most earthlike of the other planets, but it’s still a place where you would die in less than a minute without some serious technology to protect you. I wish them the best of luck, and would be happy to retire somewhere off the earth if it becomes possible in a reasonable timeframe, but I do want to see the colonization effort done as carefully thoughtfully as possible, not necessarily as quickly as possible.

    • YeahRight

      What’s with all these “colonization” dreams? Did you think even once about moving to Greenland? Why not? It’s almost completely empty! The scenery is beautiful and there are plenty of fresh air and fresh water there at all times of the year, i.e. the “technology to keep you alive” is a trivial well insulated house and a gasoline or diesel generator. So what stopped you from making your dream come true of living in a hostile environment.

      And now all you have to do is to explain what makes Mars so much more interesting than Greenland, or the tops of high mountains or the deep ocean or the slopes of an active volcano or any number of other hostile places here on Earth.

      • David Wei

        Maybe to be the first person buried in Martian grave…

        • YeahRight

          What’s that good for? I mean, except as a heroic death fetish that gives you a hard one right now?

          • Bella

            You’re a person who is afraid to attempt something new and begrudges others the opportunity to do so. Some people die for much less worthy causes,such as scuba diving or mountain climbing to ridiculous heights that require oxygen, or how about leaping from a building only to open your parachute at the last minute? People die every day in the fulfillment of their dreams,a lot more like you just die in their mediocrity. Sit there and scoff while others attempt to fulfill their dreams.even if mars one never takes off these people will have achieved a lot more than you

          • robustgrowth

            Thumbs up. Given the chance im going to volunteer to go on the mission. ….

          • YeahRight

            Then you may want to start an engineering career at SpaceX right now. That’s where the real astronauts going to Mars may come from.

          • YeahRight

            Unlike you I have been on scientific expeditions in the Arctic. It’s really exciting… for the year that you do your preparations, but once the plane drops you off and you are exposed to the real deal, the novelty wears off very quickly. Tell you what, you go on a cross Greenland tour and we talk!

          • Bella

            Oh,now i understand your bitterness,you tried something you thought would maKe you feel great and it didn’t fulfill your expectations. Well we are all different aren’t we? Their preparation will be a lot more than a year with plenty of opportunity to pull out if it doesn’t suit their character. Either way its their choice and their right to experience the highs and lows. And by the end of the preparation it will be completely different people who will take off. As for me, i don’t need to prove anything to you, i am not a pioneering spirit, i’m happy to stay here with my children and my attachments just like it appears it wasn’t for you. But unlike you i celebrate pioneers. People died crossing deserts wilderness so that we could find new homes and they paved the way for us. There is no doubt this mission will be harder than your try at fieldwork and with huge risk. Their sacrifices will pave the way for others,and ultimately its their choice. Standing there omocking them only shows your own expectations of life were not met And that you were not the right man for the mission.

          • YeahRight

            That’s a lot of smack talk for nothing, Dear. I’ve done the real thing and you are not going to come anywhere close to what I have seen. Have a nice life in front of the tv. :-)

          • Bella
          • YeahRight

            Bwaaahhhaaahaah… you are oozing of jealousy right now. :-)

          • Bella
          • YeahRight

            How do you like my love, by the way? Is it good enough for your F- grade trolling?

          • Bella
          • YeahRight

            It’s amazing how you are always coming back for more. :-)

          • David Wei

            I don’t actually thing there will be anything flashy like that, more like mundane trouble that killed them or killed them all. Like how nuclear scientists are more often killed in mundane car crashes than killed by their uber-radiation-isotope.

            Perhaps starving? asphyxiation? simple, treatable infection, except all the antibiotics had been used up a couple weeks earlier.

            Not something I’d be signing myself for, that’s for sure.

          • YeahRight

            Seriously… give me one argument why anybody should die on Mars rather than at home on Earth. There is nothing there, there. Not even air. Of course we will go there. We went to the Moon, too. One day somebody will be standing on Pluto and then Sedna because “the mountain is there”.

            But have you seen anybody move to even the top of Mount Everest to live in a pressurized long term habitat there? What makes Mars more interesting than the top of Mt. Everest?

        • YeahRight

          How about a grave in Greenland? Not many folks buried there, either.

      • Mike Richardson

        I’m sure Greenland is great, especially now that it’s rapidly thawing out, but it really doesn’t serve the purpose of ensuring humanity’s long-term survival by having a population off planet in case of an extinction event on Earth. That’s what colonies in space ensure — that all of our eggs aren’t in one basket if something hits the reset button on Earth. Not knocking Greenland, but it’s still just another place on this one planet, not a stepping stone to colonizing the rest of the galaxy.

        • YeahRight

          What is humanity threatened by on Earth? Please elaborate without using millennialist fears of non-existing asteroids.

          • Mike Richardson

            Asteroids are real, but at the moment, we don’t know of any directly threatening us. Unfortunately, we are probably the biggest threat to our own existence. Nuclear war, pandemics, self-replicating nanotechnology, and any number of other self-inflicted wounds could end our civilization, if not our species. But at the end of the day, I’m hoping what drives us to settle other worlds is the urge to explore and expand onto a new frontier — such as some of the early Viking explorers did with Greenland, for example.

          • YeahRight

            The Vikings never managed to settle on Greenland. Most of them probably died, the survivors went home. Even today Greenland has very little real estate value.

            You also forgot to mention your shadow as a major source of existential angst. Can I offer you my technological solution to eliminate your shadow? The “Halo 2000” provides enough circular illumination to eliminate it 100%, day and night. Side effects include insomnia and stares by bystanders.

            No offense, but none of these fears has any grounding in reality. Even after the worst possible disaster Earth will be more friendly to human life than Mars.

          • Mike Richardson

            Hey, you were the one who seemed bent on selling Greenland. And I think I’ve admitted that living on Mars would be extremely difficult. As for threats to human existence, any one of them is a long shot at any given time, but I’d hesitate to dismiss them out of hand. As I said, I’d much rather us spread to other planets not because we have to, but because we want to. I’m just a little perplexed at why you’re so hostile to other people seeking to do with their lives as they will. Nobody’s talking about forcing you to go to Mars, after all.

          • YeahRight

            The Vikings are one of the reason why I am selling Greenland as a good example for Mars being of little value. It’s a huge place and almost completely without value, except for short extreme tourism trips and such. There are good reasons why people want to go to Hawaii for a honeymoon and not to Greenland. Now imagine a trip that takes the better part of year (one way) and gives you a good dose of radiation in addition just to get to a place that is a thousand times less friendly to your breathing than Greenland. That’s Mars.

            If you see a small threat (and these ones are really, really small), you learn to manage it, but trying to run away from it is not a rational option.

            Now, if you wanted to sell me on a place where we could live, both Venus and Titan may be better options. I even take Ceres underground because of its low gravity, but Mars is really not that great until somebody gives it a dense atmosphere.

          • Mike Richardson

            Venus might have roughly the same mass and gravity as Earth, but it would be much more dangerous even than Mars. There’s a proposal to launch a mission that would deploy airships to keep station above the cloud cover and much of the dense and roasting CO2 atmosphere (run a search on HAVOC for details). But if the blimp gets a leak and your emergency rocket to orbit is out of commission, people can place bets on whether you dissolve while sinking through the sulfuric acid clouds, roast in the 900 degree F heat below the cloud deck, or get crushed by the atmospheric pressure near the surface (90 times earth’s sea level pressure). Titan’s got seas, but it’s so cold they’re made of ethane and methane, and water ice is as hard and permanent as rock. Ceres has such low gravity that any child born there would never be able to set foot on Earth, because their bones would be too weak and their hearts might not be able to adequately pump blood under our gravity. Mars is the only one that could reasonably be terraformed in a few centuries or millennia, so it’s the best bet for colonization.

          • YeahRight

            Your criticism assumes a design with a single point failure mode. One would never design anything like that for human habitation, neither for Mars nor Venus. While the short term settlements on Venus would be atmospheric, what I am really talking about is terraforming. Venus happens to be much more suitable than Mars, even though this is counterintuitive. Look up “Terraforming Venus quickly”, there is a nice old idea out there that you may like.

  • YeahRight

    Mars One is a total scam.

  • YeahRight

    As for sowing seeds… I have a feeling that a lot of these contestants would have a very difficult time just running a farm here on Earth. Sowing seeds… my arm.

  • peabody3000

    i have a dream… a bold, impossible dream: i want to live out the rest of my life in a small, shielded, co-ed prison, preferably living off dry rations and water recycled from human waste, never again to have a live conversation with the rest of humanity living in their lush, warm, wet world. extra points if the gravity is very low so that my muscles and bones can wither away. anyone know where i should go?

    • YeahRight

      Sans gravity and the cohabitation you could pick almost any supermax in the US, I suppose?

      • peabody3000

        oh and i forgot, it has to be completely airtight too, a perfect compliment to the cramped living conditions. only then will i be happy. sounds like paradise no?

        • YeahRight

          Yeah, I think between your plan and the supermax I probably pick the supermax. :-)

    • biscuitdave

      People have thought along those lines with every colonization. Some send, some go, some begrudge others their life choices.

      • YeahRight

        Actually, the main driver for colonization was always money. Where is the money to be made on Mars?

        • Come on think!

          The first few colonists could stake multi million acre claims, tho there wouldn’t be any water rights.

          • YeahRight

            I can claim rights on all of Mars, right now. That doesn’t make it legally valid. :-)

        • Amaya Hiko

          Where is money to be made – is not the question . Who will do so is. With putting foot on mars it will be possible to explore ressources and aquire the means to slaughter a whole planet without care for ecological means.

      • peabody3000

        what im really “begrudging” is how people are falling for a total scam, without even thinking through what it is they are actually falling for

        • Chantelle

          Well…. if it wasn’t for people such as these… you would have no one to feel superior to. Let them enjoy their vision… it is of little cost to you. And you enjoy your vision….or lack thereof.

          • peabody3000

            it takes a lack of vision to believe that this little company with no workable plans, no seriously developed technology, and no relationships with any technology providers, is going to bring people to mars and permanently colonize it. sorry if other people with true vision make you feel inferior but oh well

    • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

      Demand the Fourth Amendment (no warrantless search and seizure) of Homeland Severity at an airport. Michelle Obama school lunch in male-drugged seventh grade. Detroit.

    • Michael Cline

      Better to at least make an effort to do something great than just disappear into anonymity like nearly everyone else.

      • peabody3000

        tell you what, i have a tuna can at the bottom of the ocean you can live in. do something great and go live in it

    • Jacob Lively

      1: The earth is a small, shielded, co-ed prison.
      2: Your water is recycled from waste already. So is your air.
      3: Live conversations are a price they’ll have to pay.

      4: It won’t be as bad as living in a 0g environment. Astronauts have to exercise 2 hours a day. It’s going to be rough but that isn’t the main issue.

      I regard this operation as near suicidal for various reasons, but find your implied criticisms to be simply ridiculous and representative of someone addicted to their modern conveniences to the point where they are unable to see the value in something like Mars One, and thus demean it.

      • peabody3000

        comparing the PLANET EARTH to tiny, airtight cans is simply and stunningly simpleminded. your counterpoints are absolutely worthless

        • Jacob Lively

          That’s the thinking of someone who fails to understand the cosmic scale of things and just how small we are and just how much stuff there is out there for us.

          • peabody3000

            isnt your comment a tad ironic when cosmic scale is the exact problem? ive spent a lot of time studying the scale of the solar system and beyond. on a purely technical level going to mars makes going to the moon look like flying a paper airplane across a room. if a private company REALLY wants to blow money trying to get there, that is their prerogative, but this company is a sham, and they were charging people $75 a pop for a false dream, and now theyll market the finalists to a televised audience for more bucks. if there was a shred of legitimacy to the project that would be one thing, i would still think its a one-way ticket to miserable disaster even if it achieved its goals. there is a reason neither NASA nor anyone else ever went back to the moon.. theres nothing of adequate value there, nor on mars

          • Jacob Lively

            Mars has enormous potential, just not immediate monetary value. The moon, not so much. Again, I say I find the Mars One endeavor nearly suicidal, just not for the reasons you described in your original post. Additionally, I feel asteroid mining is a far greater investment given our current technological progress, and that colonization will need to wait at least 20-30 years.

          • peabody3000

            im more than familiar with the various rationales: preservation of the species, mining, exploration, et al. but i see them all as empty. i dont even see much potential for asteroid mining. after all, what particular minerals are we sufficiently lacking here that asteroids would provide? that is to say, under what circumstances would a sack of such material cost less when stamped with “product of asteroid 2036-11A” from millions or billions of miles away rather than “product of china”? and all that notwithstanding, asteroid mining if and when it does happen would most likely be done robotically. no need to maroon humans in tuna cans on an airless rock for that

          • Jacob Lively

            Yes, it will be done by semi-autonomous robots rather than by people.

            The best mines on earth have, at best, a 5 or 6 parts per billion content of platinum group metals. While asteroids are expected to have a content of 30-60 parts per billion, and that’s a conservative estimate. There are literally thousands of near earth asteroids and their combined value is unimaginable. Hell, even the value of a single one rivals the US annual budget of over $1 trillion.

            It is more profitable than you can imagine, if you can manage to pull it off.

          • peabody3000

            for one thing, much of the value of platinum is based on its scarcity. for another, it may cost 1000 times more to source from an asteroid than from earth. either way, it isnt going to change humanity if an asteroid suddenly makes a certain somewha useful mineral slightly more available to us

          • Jacob Lively

            Somewhat useful? lol, you know nothing about what platinum group metals are used for, huh?

            Yes, it’s very expensive to do anything in space right now.

            However, were we to create a space elevator (either using graphene, carbyne or silicon fullerenes, once we master them, which we will), it would be possible to go to space for the price of a plane ticket.

            Also, we don’t even need a space elevator to make use of water from asteroids. It is possible to set up a fuel depot in orbit to drastically cut down the fuel requirements for any space operations aiming beyond earth’s orbit.

            Why is it that you see the preservation of the species as an “empty rationale,” by the way?

          • peabody3000

            like i said its somewhat useful, and like i also said as you agreed, mining is likely to be done robotically, so its a moot point. all i have been specifically taking issue with is the idea that mankind’s destiny includes colonizing extraterrestrial places, simply because of the sheer utter hostility of any such environment, when its looked at REALISTICALLY. space tourism to the moon may happen, and maybe even in the next 50 years though i doubt it, but again its bound to be too hostile to healthily inhabit for more than a few months, not a candidate for colonization

            i dont think theres much of any reason to send humans out at all unless people are paying for the pleasure. the space station is just a trillion dollar clubhouse, but hey if it keeps the kiddies interested in science and the engineers employed on US soil, im generally in favor of it for now

            and i dont buy the preservation of the species rationale because there is virtually no scenario where the earth can be turned into an environment anywhere near as hostile as any other, even if the oceans finally steam away completely someday and the food chains collapse, compared to mars it will still be a luxurious oasis

          • Jacob Lively

            “Somewhat useful” is an understatement in the extreme.

            Virtually no scenario where the earth can be turned into an environment like Venus or Mars? LMAO.

            One day in the future, our sun will expand beyond our orbit. One day in the future, we will be hit by a massive asteroid, similar to that which killed off the dinosaurs. One day in the future, a supervolcano eruption could unleash another great extinction. One day in the future, we may well nuke ourselves into oblivion. Making sure we don’t go extinct when that happens is paramount… Unless you want us to go extinct?

            You haven’t bothered researching any of this at all, huh? Everything you’re saying is utter bullshit.

          • peabody3000

            jacob.. its regrettable that your discourse has devolved into such snivelling. i know the sun will go red-giant in 5 billion years. we dont really have to invest in that TODAY when humanity doesnt even have the maturity to plan for avoiding its own destruction in the here and now

          • Jacob Lively

            Meanwhile, you’ve ignored the rest of what I’ve said. Snivelling? lol, wow, you just don’t like someone calling you out as wrong

          • peabody3000

            ah, “lol”… right. now that you’re grasping at straws “lol”, both your tone and content have fizzled “lol”. no time for that. “lol.” go ahead and have the last word, i promise not to respond.. or even read it

          • Amaya Hiko

            … this article is a year old. Fascinating. Yet i see your comments.. now. Kind of hillarious.

            The question about the preseverance of the human being lies entirely on this planet. Without this planet every extra terestrial exploration will be void. Yet we could archieve the answer to this with our current ressources, without the need for any kind of “harvest”. I dont see the point in discussing extra terestrial mining, when the use of ressources on earth is exploding. With the speed we use to destroy this planet – we will not enjoy the gain in the long haul.

            I see much more money invested into space programms then into real solutions – that are obviously quite plain and simple. It’s just – everthing that is harnessable for military gains – gets always a higher priority. Harvesting? Think more about a weapon station on mars.

            Then you get the point. This kid basically dreams to become someone destructive to this world. ^^

          • peabody3000

            yes and i might have said it earlier, but i have to really resent the boots-on-mars fantasies for helping to convince people that we dont need to take care of mother earth, when there are allegedly other such unspoiled worlds just waiting to be spoiled

    • jerrys30

      So let me guess, your one of those people that think because you aren’t interested in doing it nobody else should.

      • peabody3000

        wrong. im making a very different point

  • cuculan

    the closest thing they will get to mars is mars bar !

    • crydiego

      And this is a PhD student?

      • peabody3000

        mars one isn’t for real. they don’t even have ANY formal relationships with anyone who is supposed to actually design, develop, and build the technology that would get them there. if they met all of their lofty crowdfunding goals, there is no reason to believe they are in any way prepared to engineer solutions that in reality could be many decades away. a PhD is much more likely to understand what a real mission would look like. mars one doesn’t come close

      • cuculan

        You must not be very clever then this TV show sorry burst your bubble this is one big scam for high TV ratings I’m 100% that they will not go to mars but will be send them some were more like chilly in on big bio dome the hole the whole point for the show is wake people up but i can name 1000 things that they don’t have technology to send people to mars if the show wanted to be more realistic then they would send then to moon first ?So what Phd meant to mean how to survive on mars ? lel

        • crydiego

          Sorry, I should has been more clear. The woman in the article is studing for a PhD. My comment was meant to add to yours.

        • biscuitdave

          Actually, the technology has been a done deal for decades. It the money standing in the way. Costs a fortune.

          • YeahRight

            So how much are you chipping in to the Kickstarter?

          • peabody3000

            wrong. several major elements of how to get to mars without being irradiated, land weighty payloads on it, and live sustainably are nowhere near being worked out

      • Come on think!

        PhuD only

  • crydiego

    Create a new civilization that is, totally and completly, dependent on the old civilizations. Maybe she should do a little experiment first. Drive out into the country and try to start a simple, “New Civilization,” here on earth; should be easy.

    • YeahRight

      That show is called “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, isn’t it? It’s just as fake as this one.

  • YeahRight

    The only people who think that Mars is romantic are the ones who haven’t been to the Arctic. Couch potatoes usually think that going to remote places is exciting, when in reality it’s extremely tiring and, most of the time, boring. Are there absolute highlights? Yes, I usually had two or three on a month+ long deployment. Would I do it again? Yes, but I won’t pretend that the price one has to pay isn’t much higher than the couch potatoes think. Not to mention the people who had breakups in their marriages over the extensive planning and training periods when they barely managed to go home for sleep. Just because you go some place does not mean that your better half and kids are following your career path. They are stuck in the rut while mom or dad are busy living “the dream”. That doesn’t go down too well with many.

    And once you went to one of these special places nobody wants to talk to you about it. Most people actually feel annoyed when you start telling the stories about what you have seen and they rather inject their imagination than to listen to your reality. Why do you think some of the Apollo astronauts kept to themselves? They were very lonely in their achievement.

    • Nick

      You seem to have had a very traumatized childhood (all your ranting about marriages and kids). But the people undertaking this mission KNOW the setbacks they will face and still want to do this. I admire their courage and support them.
      You going to the Arctic has nothing to do with a couple of people going to Mars. They are in different ends of the spectrum. Using this example justifies nothing. Also, I believe you can go to the Arctic and still raise your kids in a good way (Maybe not so much for you. lol)
      AND LAST OF ALL NOT EVERYONE IS AS SELF CENTERED AS YOU. PEOPLE DO NOT JUST GO TO SPACE TO BRAG ABOUT IT WHEN THEY COME BACK TO EARTH. OF COURSE NOBODY LISTENS TO YOUR ARCTIC “ADVENTURES”. IT HAS BEEN DONE A THOUSAND TIMES BEFORE YOU DID IT.
      But going to Mars is different (in case you do not know Mars is in space and not on Earth, unlike your favorite place Greenland). There was probably a guy like you before the first moon mission, who thought “Why go to the Moon? Just go to Greenland”. We DO need to explore other planets in case people like you ruin Earth. You most definitely have ruined my day. If you want to argue with me then tell me something other than “Go to Greenland” or “I went on an adventure to the Arctic and my kids are stuck alone in the rut” lol

      • YeahRight

        What’s with the desperate need for attention?

        • Adi Nagi

          You can stop disguising your lack of arguments with stupid questions. lol
          I would also want to point out to the fact that you are the one who has been desperate for attention as you are the one who has been saying “I went to the Arctic, somebody love me please”. I have proof too. In almost 90% of your comments you say something about you going to the damn Arctic(Oh! almost forgot your obsession with Greenland) and you think I need attention.
          If nothing else you are funny (in the sense that only a person who has no sense of humor would think your jokes are funny)

  • nik

    The surface temperature of Mars is – 60 C or below, the solar power reaching Mars is significantly weaker than on earth so counteracting the cold with solar power is likely to be ineffective, or extremely expensive in solar panels. The atmosphere is about 95% CO2, but contrary to the current myth being propagated by politicians, it is not a significant ‘greenhouse’ gas so Mars is not the sweltering greenhouse that it should be if there was any truth in the myth.
    Growing food on the planets surface would also be impossible, and only possible in an artificial environment. [perhaps the basement marijuana growers could advise on this] it would also require large amounts of power.
    The cost of delivering supplies would be enormous, and likely to suffer from budget cuts, so if the food growing failed, starvation would follow.
    Water has not been found in any usable quantity, so only water brought with the colonisers would be available, However, there may be water ice in the asteroid belt, though getting it to Mars would be a problem that hasn’t been solved yet.
    With all these problems, the life of any colonists is likely to be short and rather miserable. They probably wouldn’t be buried, as the cost in resources would be prohibitive, but given the temperatures on Mars, they would probably be preserved indefinitely. RIP.

    • YeahRight

      There is plenty of useable water in the Martian soil and there are large amounts of ice, if needed. Having said that, your cost argument makes Mars a very expensive real estate proposition, indeed.

      • nik

        The critical word is ‘usable.’ Your comment describes the problem, ‘in the Martian soil.’ For water to be retrieved, it would have to be melted from -60 deg C or below, a very energy expensive operation. Then it would have to be purified as the Martian soil contains a large amount of toxic materials, this would probably require distillation, again a very energy greedy process. The settlers would need at least a nuclear generator system, but, given the water scarcity, cooling the system would be another very difficult problem in itself. You need the water to cool the generator, and to produce steam, but you need the generator to make the water! ?
        One possible solution, as I see it, is for a Mars space station/factory to be established, where potential colonists can construct the necessary components for survival, by collecting materials from the asteroid belt. Solar power could be used more efficiently in space, and cooling would be less of a problem. The space craft could be nuclear powered, and the same generator used for the manufacturing processes. Another problem is fuel for the ferrying processes to take stuff to the surface and return. I have no idea how that would be overcome,
        The situation could be likened to an oil rig, but with the difficulties multiplied by 1000 maybe.

        • YeahRight

          You are building up a lot of non-existent technological hurdles in your mind. May I suggest that you read a couple entry-level physics and engineering books? Like I said, your economics argument is valid, but almost none of your details match reality.

          • nik

            Thank you for your suggestion, but I have read quite a number of physics, and engineering books, as I am qualified to degree level in mechanical design, and production engineering, and have studied to Chartered Engineer level.
            The technological hurdles are not in my mind, they are very securely on Mars.
            eg. The living units would have to be sealed pressure chambers, as the atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars is about the same as earth at 60,000 feet. Even a tiny leak could be a disaster for the occupants. This could be caused by a micro meteorite for instance.
            All vehicles would have to be electric, as there is no fuel available, and no roads either. Given the terrain the vehicles would probably need to be tracked, The fuel cost to get such things to Mars would be astronomical, literally.

          • YeahRight

            OK, I have neither the time or the will to discuss your misconceptions. Let me just say that at this point you just have enough knowledge to be dangerous, chartered engineer.

          • nik

            Empty statements have no value.

          • YeahRight

            Neither have crappy engineer wannabees.

          • nik

            Troll[op]

          • YeahRight

            Lame.

  • Come on think!

    They way things are now a trip to mars is a one way episode. We don’t really have much of a clue how to live there, looking at the artists conception, and all will die horribly in the first few months/year of arrival because everything we make FAILS.

    Done by private enterprise, it will be a worse nightmare.
    Think.

    • YeahRight

      We know how to live there. The how is not the problem. It’s the why that nobody can answer.

  • Come on think!

    Mars one a cloud source funding scam.
    Hello! You have won a trip to … Just send us your credit card information and you coul;d soon be sailing to …

  • YeahRight

    Greenland. Please colonize Greenland before you colonize Mars. It should be rather easy. There is plenty of air, water and temperatures are much higher.

  • Simon H

    Why does everyone evade the obvious question? Why not use the moon as a testing ground – create a small self sufficient colony there as proof of concept and copy and enhance the model elsewhere? It’s far closer, more cost effective and we’re within reach already.
    You’d find it hard to believe that it’s been entirely overlooked wouldn’t you :) So what explanation would you expect? lol

    • YeahRight

      The Moon is useless real estate. So is Mars, but we haven’t been there, yet, so the public imagination still thinks about it as some sort of paradise that needs to be conquered. Let some guys in spacesuits hop around on Mars for two weeks and the public will lose all interest, just as it did with the Moon.

      • Simon H

        I hope you’re not implying I see the industrial and mining opportunities on the moon as “paradise” lol

  • Overburdened_Planet

    “I communicate our life to followers on Earth, help establish new policy through which humans explore and settle the stars ethically and responsibly…”

    Why not instead fix the planet you left?

    That has always been the ideological problem of space colonization.

    • YeahRight

      We are Venusforming Earth and Terraforming Mars, after that we shall Marsform Jupiter and Jupiterform Saturn.

      • Overburdened_Planet

        And we will make all worlds in god’s image.

        And enslave all people’s in god’s name.

        At least that’s how we roll on this planet.

        Gawd bless.

        Cute world word play, BTW.

  • Caroline Hair

    Ever since I read my first Heinlein science fiction story at the age of eight, I have dreamed of what it would be like to live on another planet. If I were younger than my seventy-four years, I would be right there beside Hannah Earnshaw with my application! I wish her success in her application and hope I’m around to see her take off ad landing on mars!

  • Elizabeth Brown

    What happens when someone dies on Mars? will the dead be stored inside the habitat, recycled and eaten, or put in a body bag and buried outside to pollute the whole planet

  • Brian McWatters

    It would be interesting to return to that world in a hundred years and to learn what crop has sprung from the seed you planted today.

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