Words by Ingrid Pazderski
By 2024, humans will be living on Mars.
In an effort to create a human settlement on the ‘Red Planet’, a private Dutch company is launching a mission named ‘Mars One’. The mission looks to send groups of four people, every two years, to Mars beginning in 2024. Humans selected will make a one way voyage, said to take approximately seven months, to Mars.
Worldwide searches for crew members and funding are already well underway. The estimated cost for the mission is in the billions. As such, entertainment juggernaut Endemol, producers of ‘Big Brother’ has apparently signed on to produce a reality show on ‘Mars One’. The program would follow the crew members as they prepare for their voyage and will also broadcast footage from Mars. It is expected to be the most watched television event ever.
Indeed, the crew training is a point of wide community interest. Establishing a human colony on Mars means that the crew members are required to be competent in areas such as dentistry, engineering, agriculture, medicine, construction, etc. Whilst rovers are to be sent over from 2018 with some essentials for the creation of the colony, crew members will need to be largely self-sufficient.
As preparations get underway, many questions are being raised regarding the viability of creating a human colony on Mars. Areas of concern include solar flares, gravity, sustainability of agriculture and the chance of mission failure. However there are also arguments in support of the mission, such as fostering international cooperation. Indeed, as the pool of candidates for crew members gets whittled down, people from countries such as Canada and Australia all vie for a position on ‘Mars One’.