Company Searching for Volunteer Astronauts to Live on Mars

Company+Searching+for+Volunteer+Astronauts+to+Live+on+Mars

Shannon Turgeon, News Editor

A Dutch company announced on April 29 that they are looking for volunteers that are willing to venture to Mars in 2022.

According to CNN, Mars One intends to create a colony on the Red Planet. The company’s CEO, Bas Lansdorp, explained that Mars One wants to send a crew of four people into space in 2022. If everything goes according to plan, the group of two men and two women will land seven months later in 2023.

Mars One announced that they were looking for candidates for their crew at a news conference in New York City. Anyone who is 18 or older is eligible to apply via video, but applicants must pay a $38 fee that will go towards funding the mission. The company stated that they already have received more than 10,000 e-mails inquiring about the crew positions.

CNN reported that Mars One plans to send a supply mission to Mars as early as October 2016. The group also intends to launch a “settlement rover” that will land in 2018. According to Lansdorp, the landing systems will be tested eight times before the humans arrive. He feels that this would make the Mars trek “much safer than moon missions.”

If the astronauts arrive safely, they will face a stressful and dangerous life. They will have to survive on dried and canned food, and some of their water will come from recycling their urine. Lansdorp explained that the crew must be mentally ready to deal with these things. “Their psychological skills will be the main selection criteria we will use. There will be emergencies and deaths. We need to make sure that the crew members can continue without those people.”

Once they are selected, a group of 40 soon-to-be astronauts will go through seven years of training. After that, each crew will beĀ confined in a rocket for seven months with a small supply of food and water while they travelĀ  to the Red Planet.

The astronauts will be forced to adapt to life on Mars because the crew won’t have the option to return to Earth. Representatives from Mars One stated that the astronauts will have to finish out their lives on Mars. Lansdorp said that “It’s likely that there will be a crematorium. It’s up to the people on Mars to decide what to do with their dead.”

Ever since Mars One announced their mission, one of the main questions that has been asked is, “How will they fund all of this?” According to CNN, the first crew’s budget will be about six billion dollars. However, where exactly the money is going remains unknown. Lansdorp stated that an itemized budget will not be released due to the threat of competition.

The main source of funding will be provided by media coverage. The Mars One website stated that “…Mars One intends to maintain an ongoing, global media event, from astronaut selection to training, from liftoff to landing.” Lansdorp told CNN that “If humans land on Mars, everyone will want to watch. It will be bigger than the Olympic Games.” The CEO also stated that a reality TV show featuring the astronauts and their life on Mars would be created.

Although Lansdorp fully supports Mars One’s mission, he told the press that he doesn’t plan on going to Mars himself. At the news conference, he stated that he would like to go, but “I have a really nice girlfriend, and she doesn’t want to come with me, so I’m staying right here.”

More information about Mars One, the astronaut selection process, and the future space colony can be found on the Mars One website at http://applicants.mars-one.com.