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Mars One Simulation Offers Grim Predictions For The Mission

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mars-oneThe Dutch nonprofit Mars One aim to send four humans to Mars in 2024 (two years later than in their original timeline) for a 2025 landing on the Red Planet. These four intrepid colonists will be joined by 4 more two years later, and then 4 more two years after that, until the colony reaches 24. Or at least, that’s the plan. But according to strategic engineering graduate students at MIT, the strategy, as it currently exists, may prove problematic. Unless the program makes some fundamental changes to its approach, the researchers predict that the new colony will be unsustainable and deadly for the colonists.

The team developed a simulation of the settlement, per Mars One’s stated mission design. That simulation provided them with a tool to measure and predict how using the resources on the planet, growing crops, and future resupply efforts, will play out. Of course, this is just a model—no one can say with certainty how the mission will unfold, but creating and studying such models is one of strategy any Mars colonization mission organizers should rely on for insight about how to make their mission safer and, hopefully, more successful.

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Second Mars Simulation Underway

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MarsDomeJust under a year ago, GFR reported on a four-month simulated Mars mission taking place in Hawaii, which focused primarily on feeding astronauts decent food for their long-term stays on other planets. Hi-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation) researchers are now testing various kinds of extra vehicular activities, comparing the difference between 3D-printed tools and conventional instruments, devising better and safer astronaut training and preparation methods, identifying techniques for distinguishing different volcanic minerals on Mars, growing plants under different wavelengths, and refining methods of converting trash to gas, as well as studying psychological and emotional challenges and adjustments to such a taxing mission.

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Mars One Plans To Build Practice Facilities To Simulate Life On The Red Planet

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Mars OneMars One is the non-profit organization based in the Netherlands that wants to jumpstart civilization on Mars by sending a group of colonizers on a one-way jaunt to the Red Planet. In order to help the participants prepare for their deep space adventure, the group recently announced that they plan to build multiple practice facilities to give the potential pioneers just a small dose of what they’re in for along the way. If you’re like us, you can’t help but imagine this as playing out something like the plot of Bio-Dome, only with less Baldwin, probably, and certainly less Pauly Shore. I can’t imagine anyone signing on to spend the rest of their natural life in close quarters with the Weasel.

At the present time, there has been no specific location selected for any of these faux-Martian environments, but Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement, “We are very eager to get started constructing actual hardware for our mission that is important for training future Mars One crews and preparing them for their life on Mars…We are going from theory to practice.”

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Lionsgate TV Joins The Mars One Reality Show

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roadmapFor those of you who haven’t heard, the Dutch nonprofit Mars One is aiming to start sending humans to the Red Planet in 2024. The field of over 200,000 aspiring pioneers has been whittled down to just over 1,000. All of these applicants are ostensibly ready to leave their Earthly lives behind. Among many other aspects, Mars One has a particularly interesting funding plan. Aside from donations, it plans to fund this ambitious project by turning the whole thing, application process and all, into a reality television show. In this day and age, is this really surprising? Now, Mars One will join forces with Lionsgate TV and they’re about to start shopping the show to networks.

After initially denying the rumors, founder Bas Lansdorp says that Mars One is “eagerly awaiting the contract” with Lionsgate, and will “make a more detailed announcement when a contract is signed.” Despite the lack of verified details, plenty of information is surfacing on the old interwebs, including an interesting news bit that Lionsgate will start a casting search of its own, eventually merging with what Mars One has already started. This seems a bit confusing. Does this mean starting from scratch, rather than looking back over the Mars One applicants? The earlier applicants submited videos in which they discussed why they want to go to Mars and what qualifications they bring. Would Lionsgate applicants do the same? What qualifications are necessary for a reality television contestant other than a propensity for drama? Bear in mind that the shuttle ride to Mars will take 7-8 months. If there are any drama queens in four person groups, they’re all liable to kill each other, or themselves, long before they even arrive.

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Is A Manned Mars Mission Suicide? According To A UAE Fatwa, Yes.

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MarsMars One, the Dutch nonprofit that plans to send colonists on a one-way trip to Mars in 2024, narrowed down a field of over 200,000 applicants to just over 1,000 at the end of last year. Those 1,000 applicants run the demographic gamut, from home country (applicants hail from 107 countries, including the US, India, China, Brazil, UK, Canada, Russia, Mexico, Turkey, and more) to education to age. And, one could assume, in terms of religion. Recently, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments (GAIAE), an organization within the United Arab Emirates whose mission is to enhance religious and social awareness, has urged Muslims not to participate in the Mars One mission.

GAIAE issued a fatwa, an official judgment on an issue concerning Islamic law, against Muslims traveling to Mars. GAIAE employs scholars whose job it is to tackle such issues and deliver a ruling, and they said, “It is not permissible to travel to Mars and never to return if there is no life on Mars. The chances of dying are higher than living.” That being their stance, a manned mission to Mars is akin to a suicide mission, and suicide violates Islamic principles.

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Mars One Narrows The Field For One-Way Mars Colonists

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mars oneI have a fair share of lofty goals in my life, though most of them include adding one more piece of bacon to a dish that already has plenty. Taking a one-way trip to Mars sounds great in theory, but I don’t think I’d be able to leave behind all of my Earthly fixations, including you, our wonderful readers. As such, my application never made it to the Mars One mission office, but over 202,000 other ones did, and Mars One has whittled that giant list down to 1,058 applicants in their first round of cuts. Granted, that’s still a huge number of people to get through, since they’re hoping to wind up with 24 potential astronauts in the end, but they probably got rid of all the people who listed “pleasing your mom” in their set of special skills.

PopSci broke down the remaining applicants in a number of ways that let us know what kind of people might be furthering humanity’s galactic advancement. Of those remaining, around 55 percent are male, while the other 45 percent are obviously female, and though that’s still not as perfectly balanced as it could be, it’s far more equal than I would have predicted. I suppose it’s because Mars One is a Dutch company rather than an American one, where our gender bias is far more obvious. Considering NASA recently made it public that females are far more affected by space radiation than their burlier counterparts.