13 thoughts on “Mars One”

    1. The diet is looking way too vegan for my tastes. I’m pretty certain the paleo lifestyle isn’t going to fit.

  1. How about college undergrads for their capacity to live with large numbers of roomates and not worry about their physical surroundings?

    Some of you may have seen the early John Carpenter movie “Dark Star”, which, I guess, was a broad satire on the movie 2001 as an overly serious popular science fiction epic of the day.

    Part of the plot is that the Dark Star spaceship has suffered meteor damage, from which a number of other dramatic turning point follow. A more comical aspect to the meteor damage is that it has wiped out their living quarters, so when not at their work posts, they are living “in the boiler room.” When we finally see the “jury rigged” living arrangements in “the boiler room”, the scene has a very familiar appearance to the average multiple-room mate dorm room, that is, a total mess.

    The other interesting turn in the movie is when they get a “communication from home.” Whereas Dark Star is a satire on Star Trek and 2001 and the whole Hollywood science fiction genre, Carpenter at least decided to take Relativity seriously.

    The scene, by the way, is reminiscent of Astronaut Bowman receiving a video comm from NASA Administrator Heywood Floyd, telling Bowman about the “true” nature of the mission of spaceship Discovery, but maybe telling him what he needed to know about what led to HAL the computer going insane along with the loss of the rest of his human crew, maybe a little bit too late to do anything about all of this.

    In Dark Star, the crew also gets a video comm from “the guy back in HQ” offering them advice on the predicament they are in following a chain of events after the meteor strike. On account of not violating Relativity as in Star Trek’s “subspace” messages, the video comm took years to reach the crew of Dark Star.

    The Dude from HQ explains that since it takes years for the message to cross between star systems, HQ ran detailed computer simulations, and once the simulations showed that with a certain probability that the crew of Dark Star would be some time in the future in the plot predicament they are in now, HQ broadcast the video comm.

    So the “Heywood Floyd” dude from HQ tells the crew that “our simulations ended showing” that you would be in this, this, and that other kind of trouble by now, but there really isn’t anything that you can do about it by the time you get this message (Rand, didn’t you just run a thread on that topic?), so, good luck.

    Also, the dude from HQ delivers this tough luck message with a kind of deadpan that always breaks me up with humor whenever I see Homeland Security Director Janet Napalitano on TV.

    So maybe the laid back kind of hippie “cool” of the crew of Dark Star is the proper selection criterion?

  2. Working with a larger group [than four] would increase the cost and complexity of getting to Mars.

    Total cost perhaps. But cost per person goes down dramatically when you send more at a time. This also reduces the psychological stress. They say four is a minimum for the skills required but they do not specify the skills.

    Machinists and chemists should be at the top of the list. That is, makers that will be able to make their own life support instead of being completely dependent on earth. Life support should not be something that comes from one of two dragons.

    They will probably get less than a third of their funding from a reality show, assuming it’s a hit.

    They are making employees rather than true independent colonists.

  3. I think that this is a more realistic plan than any proposed government missions.

    I’ve been ignoring Mars One since they first announced their existence. The little I heard about it did not sound at all realistic. The above statement from Rand finally persuaded me to look at their web site. Having done so, I have to figure that Rand’s statement is more about the extant government proposals than it is about Mars One. You can say that their focus on existing hardware and their willingness to accept a one way trip makes their plan more technically realistic. But any “private, non-profit” venture of this magnitude that doesn’t list funding on their Risks and Challenges page is hopelessly optimistic – a trait also reflected in their absurdly aggressive timeline.

    1. Yet, one little tweak and their funding becomes a lot more realistic. Embrace a property rights claiming charter. Then their reality show becomes gravy on top of a fully self funding plan. In other words, it ensures the time required for property values to appreciate making the reality show funding just a drop in the bucket. The value of real estate once settlements have been established is trillions of dollars at impulse purchase prices (60+ trillion 1/2 acre plots are available on mars. That’s a million, billion at novelty prices.) All it takes is a lightbulb and people willing to claim their rights.

      absurdly aggressive timeline

      Only absurd because of the funding requirement. It is based on existing or near existing equipment from dependable suppliers.

      Absurd was thinking we could send people to the moon and back in the 60s. Perhaps new engineering graduates should be given a slide rule and a spine rather than a parchment? Today’s can’t do attitude is just amazing.

      1. Ken,

        It wasn’t the slide rule, its was them spending time as kids souping up hot rods, building ham radios and model planes that gave them the hands on experience that seems to be lacking today with a generation raised on computer games.

  4. have a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. They must be resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful.

    This was lifted verbatim from the worst sort of corporate HR “diversity mission statement”, right?

    Two things that are missing from that are– the ability to take orders and, to know when to shut up and do your job. Something often lacking in the “resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful” types who know everything about everything, and collapse into hysterics at the first little setback.

    1. Raoul,

      There are Europeans, so they take for granted anyone who applies will be able to follow orders since all those individualist types left long ago for America or Australia.

  5. at least 18 years of age, have a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. They must be resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful.

    Well that describes me perfectly, but as I’m too busy at the moment I’ll let you guys have a crack at it.

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