Do you have the explorers itch? Do you envision your name in the history books? Are you in awe of people who do things that others just think about doing? Well if you do, then the nonprofit organization, Mars One, might be just the organization you’re looking for.
Mars One has boldly announced their intentions of putting the first colonist on the red planet Mars. A very bold statement considering that the existing space programs of America, Russia, France, and Russia are still struggling to maintain an aging space station 200 miles above us. However, this is not a completely unrealistic endeavor. The 21st century has seen a new space race emerging as private enterprise seeks to capitalize on the renewed interest in space travel by promoting space tourism.
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is already taking reservations for those who are interested in traveling along the fringes of space. To date, over 500 people have plunked down their money for reservations for a flight into space. However, Sir Branson is in second place in the fledgling space tourism industry. The company Space Adventures has actually been putting people in space (and, bringing them back) by partnering with the Russian space program. To date, Space Adventures clients have now logged almost 3 months in space without incident.
However, if you are interested in going to Mars, I would recommend doing your homework (and some soul searching); this will be a one-way trip.
While the current space programs have the technology to get to Mars. We do not have the resources or infrastructure to get back from Mars. Your mission, should you choose to accept, will be that of a colonist. And, being a colonist has never been for the faint of heart.
Consider the English settlement of Jamestown. Founded in 1607 by the Virginia Company (a private enterprise) Jamestown was intended to be a prosperous outpost in the new world. It was anything but prosperous in the beginning. The first settlers were ill equipped for their Virginia adventure: the elements, starvation, isolation, sickness and the flat out hard work of carving out a living with their bare hands all took their toll on those first colonists. Bernard Bailyn, describes the colonist situation with three words; “death was everywhere,” in his historical account of the settlement in his recent book about North American colonists, “The Barbarous Years.”
For the first colonist on Mars, their life will be challenging and not unlike the colonist in the new world. Mars colonists will be expected to work hard assembling the colonies infrastructure, environmental systems and life support systems. The colonist will have to know how to do everything. From repairing a malfunctioning computer to delivering babies, no tasks, job or chore will be off limits. Of course, the cramped living conditions of the living modules will play havoc on your nerves. Playing well with others will be your greatest and most likely, your most valuable asset.
Therefore, if you are up for the challenge, and want to see your name in the history books, Mars One wants you to apply. You and three other adventure colonist will be the most talked about, written about, adventurers this world will have ever known. Just make sure you do your homework!