A

What is your take on this ?

6 Answers
I heard on TV that there will be a one-way mission to Mars in 2024 and 100 people's name have already been confirmed. Is this a suicide-mission ? Are they sure they will be able to survive (even if they get there) for the rest of their lives ? No one has ever traveled to mars yet (not even astronauts).
F

You can read more about Mars One on this CNN article, which includes interviews with 2 of the 100 candidates: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/17/tech/mars-one-final-100/

No, they are not sure that they are going to be able to survive there. One of the candidates says that everyone, everywhere, is going do die SOME day, but that she believes that what you do before you die that is important. So, candidates are realistic that they will probably have much shorter life spans than if they stayed home.

The article mentioned that a study by MIT that indicated using current technology, the first humans to live on Mars would probably only survive for 68 days. Of course, there is a lot to do and a lot that could improve technology-wise between now and the proposed Mars One launch dates - including unmanned missions in 2018 to the planet. So who knows what will happen.

Basically, what you heard on TV seems to be real and not a hoax. But no-one is thinking that the colonists will have normal life spans. Everyone (including them) realize there are immense risks and they could die very early. Of course, it's also possible that the scheduled launch dates get pushed further back, if for example it's felt that the technology isn't quite ready yet or that it wouldn't be successful at all. But overall, what you heard is correct.

...
G

Mars One could be a forward-looking experiment being conducted to see if it is possible for humans (as they are) to adapt to the rigors of Mars or adapt Mars itself to conditions bearable to humans. One thing the suicidal colonists will need to decide is what materials they need and the Earth can afford to ship out of the Earth's gravity well so they will not just survive the dangers inherent in attempting to colonize an inhospitable planet but do so with minimal material assistance from the Earth.

IF the colonists can/do find a way to survive on Mars (Remember, Mars has almost zero atmospheric pressure and no free oxygen or any other easily available quantities of the gases needed to manufacture a breathable atmosphere.) These colonists will need to somehow bring from the Earth enough atmospheric gas to survive until they can begin to process the rocks on Mars to release the gases needed to supply their own contained atmosphere.

Another problem the colonists will face is the apparent scarcity of liquid or frozen water on the surface of Mars. The colonists must force the planet to supply their needs from the bare rock itself, or they will need to develop mining techniques for the asteroids in space. Either of these sources can supply the basic needs of the colonists, in theory, but taking volunteers from Earth and throwing them into the situation where they will have to supply their needs from one of those two sources may mean their trip really is a simple (but extremely expensive) suicide mission.

Current scientific theories suggest that Mars may have water ice lingering at its polar caps, but that ice is only a theory... Even if it proves to be true, the colonists would still have to mine for the ice before they could use it!

After the problems of breathable atmosphere and water have been solved (or at least those two have a temporary fix in place that will work well enough to see the colonists through until a more permanent fix can be implemented) there still remain problems. Shelter enough for the whole colony must be considered at the same time and using the labor of some of the same colonists who already have their hands full with those first problems!

Heck, I may not even have the colonist's survival problems listed in the right order, even though I have tried to piece this together several times, completely re-writing my answer three times so far! I keep rearranging their priorities over and over again, solving one problem (in my own mind, at least) that leaves at least one possible solution to the next problem within the possible skills of another one or two of the other colonists.

I was looking further than the single step (or problem) I was currently attempting to solve, in the colonialist's best interests. Don't misunderstand me, I am not sure the colonists would survive their attempt to build the first Mars colony successfully.... As far as that goes, I am positive there were far too many obstacles stacked against the would be colonial interests for any government on Earth to agree to actually sending living humans out without having MUCH better odds than we were giving these poor souls...

Considering all the money, time and brain power looking at the ramifications both a viable colony and a failed colony bring to the board make this a fascinating problem to think about in our spare time, but actually going to Mars and trying to implement any of the suggestions I have been consider for the colonists makes me guarantee that I will not be part of the complement of volunteers on any expedition heading to Mars! (At least, not in the near future, anyway!)

...
T

My take is that this is something that will answer a lot of questions about whether humans can colonize Mars if it actually is allowed to happen.

Just because a private company has decided that it wants to go to Mars doesn't all of a sudden mean that it will manage to complete the feat nor does it entail that it will even be allowed to use the air space or the atmosphere or even go out into space if the government where they are trying to launch from doesn't allow for the mission to be launched from their lands because it is ostensibly at least in part a commercial venture.

Whether it is a suicide mission or not is unclear because it has never been done before. Humans have never lived on Mars or stepped foot on Mars as far as I know. Therefore based on the limited amount of information available for how the Martian atmosphere and terrestrial conditions will affect human beings, it is not clear if it will be a suicide mission or not. It is entirely plausible that by 2024 there will be technology invented that would allow for humans to live on the surface of Mars and survive for an extended period of time. It is just as possible that the technology won't exist then, but only time will tell as nine years away is quite a long time for technology to be invented and for the technology to be tested out.

As for the question of surety, I am very skeptical that anyone involved in the mission is sure they will be able to survive on Mars for any extended period of time because of two factors involved with being sure. One is that they have to be confident in the ability of whatever technology they're using that it will work, and that confidence should have a hint of doubt at this moment in time because quite a bit of the technology is theoretical or untested, especially as there is limited opportunity to test new technologies on the Martian surface. The other factor is that it is in the future, and being sure about the future is a tricky thing because quite a lot of things can happen between now and 2024, and it is entirely plausible that one of those things that happens between now and 2024 makes it difficult if not outright impossible for the mission to even happen. I don't know and I am very skeptical that anyone involved in the project knows what the future looks like in 2024, because that's nine years away.

It is true no human has traveled to Mars yet but human technology has, else the Mars rover wouldn't be sending back images and data on Mars. Since the technology exists to get there and we know that it stayed functional while on the planet, that has given science plenty of information to figure out what is necessary for machines to work on Mars. Humans are an entire different story and that is a much more difficult thing to figure out, because it will all be theoretical up until the point that a human steps foot on Mars and tries to survive for an extended period of time with the conditions on the surface of the planet.

...
S

From what I heard it is called mars one and may be a reality show. Yes it will be a one way ride.,they are screening people and will narrow it down to 24 - 40 people that will start training for the mission. They are going to send 4 at a time and cost around 6 billion for the ride there.
The first ones sent will go in 2023, There will be a rover trip there in 2020
The application period is now over and I heard over 200.000 applied for this one way trip.

My take on this is that this is not for me, I will stay here. I am sure I am to old anyway.
I heard it will be 2 men and 2 women so they will be of breeding age I am sure..

...
N

I will most definitely not sign up to go to Mars on a one way ticket. People might think it is an adventure and that it would be great fun, however I , think it is a suicide mission and inhumane for humans and animals alike. I think it is totally absurd.

These people will never be able to come back to earth nor will they ever get to hug their loved ones again and they will be totally dependent on others to supply oxygen, food, water, medical care. (Apparently they will be self sufficient but I doubt it) What about mental things like depression etc. I just think it is crazy - I will rather stay on Mother Earth!

...
C

I have no doubt there are devoted people out there that would give their lives to enhance the chance of one day colonizing Mars, however I can clearly say I'm not one of them.

Throughout history people have made sacrifices to improve the quality of life such as fighting for their country, however I don't see a trip to Mars to have that level of importance.

It is my opinion that a trip to Mars should be postponed until a well developed plan is made to bring the astronauts home.

Thanks for asking.

...