The Mars One project is an ambitious endeavour to establish a permanent colony on Mars. It is backed by a truly international but non-government consortium, composed of an eclectic mix of academics, scientists, engineers and others in various capacities.
“In 2011 Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders lay the foundation of the Mars One mission plan. Discussion meetings are held with potential suppliers of aerospace components in USA, Canada, Italy and United Kingdom. Mission architecture, budgets and timelines are solidified from feedback of supplier engineers and business developers. A baseline design for a mission of permanent human settlement on Mars achievable with existing technology is the result.”
Between 2013 and 2015 the extensive process of potential astronaut selection was launched. Hundreds of thousands of applications were received from volunteers for this one way journey. Presently the field of applicants has been narrowed down to 100 and will be finally reduced to 24 although there will be a pool of suitable replacements if needed. Funding for this venture ranges from donations to crowd funding and other economic generation borne of the digital age.
“The global search has begun for the first humans to set foot on Mars and make it their home. In an extensive training period, candidates will learn the skills they will need on Mars and on their journey there. The combined skill set of each astronaut team member will cover a very wide range of disciplines. In 1000 years, everyone on Earth will still remember who the first humans on Mars were. More than 200,000 men and women from around the world responded to the first call for astronauts”.
Meet the Mars 100 short video. This video suggest that humankind must expand its horizons and needs more ‘living” room.
The web site of the Mars One project describes this adventurous mission as the next great leap forward in space exploration and likely the biggest one of the century. Nowhere is there the faintest suggestion that the establishment of a colony on Mars might be a backup plan to prevent the extinction of the human race. Yet one wonders, do the academic authorities and other leaders know something that we don’t? We are all aware of the dangers of climate change if we don’t get our act together in a hurry. Likewise, the overpopulation of humanity and the aging of that population pose horrendous problems.
Perhaps the brightest minds, along with our planet’s rulers, have come to a quiet realisation that Earth is doomed and that the human population is an odds-on bet to become extinct, along with many other species. It is perfectly possible that climate change and global warming have already reached the tipping point and that conditions here are rapidly tending from the troublesome to the catastrophic.
The Mars One web site outlines how various cargo and satellite missions will take place over the next decade and how the basic material construction of the colony will be accomplished before the arrival of the first colonists in 2024. Succeeding missions will see further such very small scale human migration until a compact but entirely self-sustaining community is in operation.
It all makes perfect sense and in all probability is a very good idea. However, if a calamity causes the extinction of humanity on earth it is these few colonists on Mars whose procreation will enable the survival of our species. The project’s selection criteria are centred round finding colonists who are able to make the arduous trip and cope with life in such a harsh environment. I hesitate to use a label for these people such as type A or type B personalities but one thing is for sure. They are not going to be representative of a cross section of humanity. They are going to be highly specialised (in the personality sense as well as in regard to abilities) group. Mind you, considering what our species as a whole has done to the earth this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The selection of the strongest and brightest could well be what certain historical figures aimed at in the last century without having to eliminate the rest. Nature may well eliminate all remaining humans on our planet!
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John Richard Spencer, Australia
John has had much multicultural experience due to marriage, teaching, travel and years of living in the Philippines and other parts of Asia, has taught English in Australian high schools and overseas, has driven taxis in Sydney and on the Gold Coast, and has also personally visited and researched the U.S. and U.K. locations featured in the novel. His published work has included article-length pieces of fiction and non-fiction. Much of the non-fiction has been travel and business related (including a considerable amount in David Koch financial publications). His work has been published in Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Zimbabwe and the U.S. John has published a novel, Brownout – 666, as an eBook that is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. Brownout is a romantic/political/social and crime suspense novel of 131,443 words with strong love/sex themes as well as legal action. It deals with life in the Philippines as well as the dark side of the political and social elite who rule the planet from their bases in the USA and other nations. – See more at: http://www.creativityandpower.com/