They’re called Mars One, a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands that intends to establish a human settlement on the Red Planet by 2023. What began as a proposed Reality TV project that would hopefully recoup the costs of sending people to Mars has since matured into a project for actual, factual colonization. There’s just one thing missing at this point…
They need people to volunteer.
A little over a week ago, they released a document specifying their application criteria. Clearly, they can’t take just anyone. Among the five key categories for qualification are Resiliency, Adaptability, Curiosity (no pun!), Ability to Trust, Creativity and Resourcefulness. Oh, and you must be at least 18 years of age, kind of like getting in to an R-rated movie. No specific technical qualifications are necessary, but if you’ve got a go-getter attitude, a positive outlook and are willing to learn, I’m sure they can teach you.
The selection process will begin during the first half of 2013, and will still be based around a reality TV concept. Basically, it will take the form of Mars One experts and viewers of a “global, televised program” choosing who they want to see go. Those ultimately selected will be assembled into teams of four, with at least six teams hoped to be prepared to launch in September 2022. But only one team will make the first trip to the Red Planet, and that team will be decided democratically.
The training process will take eight years, and will include simulated missions, practice in a restricted mobility environment, and lessons in electronics, equipment repair, basic and critical medical care. In 2016, the company plans to begin rocketing supplies to Mars, including spare parts, two rovers, and living units that can be assembled into a base once humans arrive.
It’s a testament to an age where commercial space flight is fast becoming a reality, and internet-based voting, crowdsourcing and information sharing can take the place of space agencies and government sanctioned research. Sure, it still sounds like a pipe dream, but the effort alone is impressive isn’t it? And given all the advances that are made every day, who’s to say what will and won’t be possible within the next few decades?
To read the application in detail, click here. And check out the video of Mars One’s proposed mission: