The Mars One white coffee mug. Image Source: Mars One.
A One Way Ticket to Mars. Would You Like to Know More? The Mars One competition, in which the whole world was invited to apply for a one way ticket to Mars, ended on 31 August 2013 (see my earlier post here). Now the organizers are sifting through the applicants, whom you can see here. If all goes as planned, the winners will be sent off to the Red Planet in 2023. The project is crowd-funded. You are asked by the organizers to buy a coffee mug or other souvenirs to support the colonization effort.
Sci-fi fiction author Doug Turnbull mused on what life will be like on Mars by mid-century in an op-ed at Space.com. He reviews the more serious applicants:
Life on Mars at midcentury will not be glamorous, but neither was life in the settlements on North America during the early colonial period. To date, 165,000 people have volunteered to participate in the Mars One project from more than 140 countries, many of whom are scientists and engineers. Take, for example, these five candidates, who describe themselves in their online portfolio[s]:
- "Mariana" is a graduate student at Harvard University studying chemistry and microbiology;
- "Max" has a triple bachelor's degree in engineering, physics and astronomy, and is pursuing his masters in aerospace engineering at Purdue University;
- "Rod" is already ahead of the game in terms of NASA astronaut-type training by being an instrument rated pilot and scuba diver;
- "Oscar" is a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, licensed pilot, trained to work with nuclear power and has conducted research at NASA;
- "Carlo" is a theoretical physicist;
- "Amy" is an engineer who is currently employed by a NASA contractor.
These highly qualified applicants indicate that, despite a few crackpots who might apply, there are serious folks who feel that being a true pioneer is worth some hardship.