Mankind on Mars

Izzy+Sio+%2716

Detlef van Ravenswaay

Izzy Sio '16

Interplanetary travel may no longer be solely science fiction. Mars One, an independent non-profit organization, is making concrete strides towards developing a human outpost on Mars.
At press conferences in New York and Shanghai, Mars One, founded by Dutch entrepreneur Mr. Bas Lansdorp, announced that it is ready to launch its Astronaut Selection program, according to mars-one.com.
Current plans are to send a demonstration pod to the red planet along with a communications satellite in 2018 to establish a live feed to earth. In 2020, the company will send a rover to find suitable terrain for the Mars outpost. With the rover in place, life sustaining units will arrive and be operational by 2023. Then, in 2024, a four-man pod will launch to settle permanently on Mars. More teams will follow every two years, according to mars-one.com.

Izzy Sio '16
Izzy Sio ’16

Mars One began its second stage of selecting perspective candidates for the launch May 5. It narrowed the applicants from 200,000 to 705 space fanatics who must complete further screening by the end of 2014.
These 705 hopefuls from all corners of the world are in the process of sending and publishing video highlights, explaining why they would be assets to the mission. Qualities that set each candidate apart range from medical experience to problem solving, leadership and even the ability to fall asleep quickly. The final applicants begin training in early 2015.
Mars One assures that the necessary technology for the mission already exists and many more efficient options will become available as science evolves. For example, the use of contour crafting, a construction method that erects cement buildings in less than 24 hours with 3D printers, dramatically reduces mission costs because living units can be built directly on Mars, according to techtimes.com.
Results of email poll to Sacred Heart Upper School community demonstrated significant interest in interplanetary travel.   Compiled by Nebai Hernandez '16
Results of email poll to Sacred Heart Upper School community demonstrated significant interest in interplanetary travel.
Compiled by Nebai Hernandez ’16

Broadcasting the Mars experience to viewers on earth could lessen the financial burden of the mission. Bas Lansdorp believes that many residents of earth would pay to watch what could be a fascinating human experiment. In a poll conducted by the King Street Chronicle, 115 out of 148 students, faculty, and teachers responded that they would watch a Mars reality television show.
Convent of the Sacred Heart Part-time Astronomy Technician Mr. Rick Bria has some major concerns about the mission ranging from solar flares without an atmosphere to loss of muscle mass without gravity. But, he still has high hopes that mankind will successfully make it to Mars.
“I would sure hope so. I remember when I was a kid and we went to the moon, anything was possible, a space station on the moon and going to Mars,” Mr. Bria said.

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-Nebai Hernandez, Staff Writer