This is the third article I’ve written about the Mars One project, and my second update
of the planned mission by the Mars One foundation to send private volunteer citizens
from anywhere in the world on a one-way trip to Mars colonizing a permanent settlement. The search for the would be astronauts began in April 2013. You can view my last article from this link, titled One Way Manned Flight to Mars, where I outlined the schedule
of the preparation, training, unmanned flights delivering equipment, and finally the
actual manned flight.
WWWThe first reaction most of have is who in their right mind would choose to leave Earth and live the rest of their lives on a desolate hostile planet? Well, an
astounding 200,000 have applied. And now an initial short list of 705 people have been selected. Both men and women. The United States, Japan, South America, Spain, Great Briton, France, Arab Emirates and Australia are some of the countries represented.
A thought that occurred to me—will the chosen astronauts be required to undergo vasectomies or tubal ligations? Pregnancy and raising a child in such a desolate environment would be unthinkable.
Mars One has entered into partnership with Darlow Smithson Productions to document these future intrepid astronauts as they are trained, selected or dismissed preparing for the mission where the dubious winners will embark on a 300 million mile seven month one-way trip to the red planet. The selectees will need to demonstrate knowledge, skills, physical performance, and probably most important, exceptional psychological stability and emotional stamina. Many of course, as happens in the punishing and backbreaking training of would be Navy Seals, will disqualify themselves; and many no doubt will be swayed to change their minds by the pleading from people who love them, to stay. WWDarlow will start broadcasting their production of this incredible endeavor around the world in 2015. They have an established reputation in the production of world class programming in both television and theater documentaries, receiving more than forty awards including The Peabody and US Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences awards. Lain Riddick is Darlow’s Head of Special Projects and Digital Media who expresses,
It is a great privilege for DSP to be chosen to exclusively follow the incredible journeys of those who will make humankind’s first footprint on Mars. This has to be the world’s toughest job interview for what is without question a world-first opportunity and the human stories that will emerge will captivate and inspire generations across the globe.
And Bas Lansdorp, CEO of Mars One, states.
Bringing the story of our incredibly brave aspiring Martians to the world now officially begins with what we feel is a perfect partnership. Our team felt all along that we needed a partner whose strength lies in factual storytelling to an international audience. DSP will provide that to Mars One, while allowing our selection committee to maintain control of the applicant selection process. This really is a perfect fit for both of us.
Twenty-four astronauts will be selected and organized into six teams of four people, put through eight years of rigorous training, and spending three months at a time in a Mars colony simulation every two years under stressful situations. They will be observed as to how they respond in close isolated living quarters sequestered from the rest of the world. They will learn skills such as construction and electrical repair, cultivating crops in confined spaces, and dealing with routine and serious medical situations like dental maintenance, bone fractures and muscle tears.
WWWThe seven to eight months of the four-man flight will be spent in an uncomfortably small space, not being able to shower, rather washing with wet towelettes, and eating freeze dried and canned food. Noise will be constant from the ventilators, computer and life support systems, with three hours of exercise every day to keep their muscles from atrophying. If they encounter a solar storm, they will take protection in an even smaller sheltered area, as long as several days. Obviously this will be an over-the-top grueling expedition just to get there. The first four landing in 2025.
The most interesting aspect of watching the documentary unfold will be getting a handle on the people who have volunteered to sacrifice their lifelong established existence, leaving behind forever everyone and everything they love and cherish for the stoic existence they will surely encounter, with zero chance of ever returning should they change their minds. It will be fascinating to listen, to try and comprehend their reasons, motivations and dreams.
© Joe Arrigo