Mars One – More Reality TV and Less Real

Have you heard about Mars One?  Here is what they say they are:

Mars One is a private, apolitical organization whose intent is to establish a colony on Mars through the integration of existing, readily available technologies from industry leaders world-wide. Unique in its approach, Mars One intends to fund this decade-long endeavor through an interactive, reality TV style broadcast from astronaut selection to robotic construction of the outpost; from the seven month flight through the first years on Mars.

Now, I love the idea of going to Mars.  I am OK even with having one way trips to do so.  (Got to die somewhere, right?)  I really love the video they put together:

And I would love to believe that they would be able to pull it off.  But they do not have the funds or the staff to pull it off.  They do not have the billions that would be required or the expertise.

Here is the timeline that they currently plan:


This will be the year in which our astronaut selection begins! Who will be the first four humans on Mars and who are to follow every two years after? Anyone who meets the criteria and feels they are up to the challenge can apply. Mars One will maintain 40 trained astronauts during the full duration of its missions.

By the close of 2013, Mars One will build a replica of the Mars settlement on Earth, likely in a cold, desolate environment, to help the astronauts prepare and train and for a realistic environment in which to test the equipment. The astronaut selection and the preparations in the simulated Mars base will be broadcast world-wide for the public to view.


The supply mission will be launched for Mars in January 2016. It will land on the Red Planet in October 2016 with its cargo of 2500 kilograms of spare parts, solar photovoltaic panels, and general supplies. It will land close to where the outpost is expected to be.


What will most definitely happen is that in 2013 a call will be put out for volunteers wanting to go to Mars.  There really will be training and a mock up built here on earth.  It really will be a media spectacle.  There will be sponsors for the show.  And it will make considerable amount of money.  Probably in the $100 of millions.

What will not happen is actually sending anything into space.  The entire event will be done here on the grown, with no hope of anything be launched into orbit.  There will especially not be anything or anyone going to Mars because of this.

Why?  Well you see, the ground stuff is safe and cheap.  It also makes for better TV.  But anything that is actually sending things to space is costly, risky, and does not make for good TV.  It won’t happen being funded this way, with this group of people.

I wish it were otherwise.  And I hope I am wrong.  But I do not see how I could be…

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