Help Wanted: Astronauts Needed for Mars Colony

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Mars One, a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands, intends to establish a human settlement on Mars in 2023.


They need astronauts.

Anyone on planet Earth can apply if they meet the basic requirements. But obviously, the job isn’t for just anyone.

Today, Mars One released its application criteria. Among other virtues, astronaut candidates must 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.” And be at least 18 years old (no maximum age has been set).

The selection process will begin during the first half of 2013. Mars One experts and viewers of a “global, televised program”  — think reality TV where the prize could be a trip to a dry, dusty world — will choose from among the applications. Those ultimately selected will be assembled into teams of four. At least six teams are supposed to be ready to launch in September 2022. But only one team will make the first trip to the Red Planet, and that team will be decided democratically.

Written By: Nadia Drake
continue to source article at wired.com

22 COMMENTS

  1. There seem to be quite a number of issues that have not been thought through, – even as far as looking at rival plans for Mars bases, which provide technological solutions to some of their logistical problems.

    There do not seem to be adequate science objectives or purpose for the life-long commitment expected of participants.

    There are lots of proposals and answers in the plan for Mars bases on the links below, which could have been applied.
    youtube.com/watch

    Project Boreas was a study conducted between 2003 and 2006 by the British Interplanetary Society to design a station on the Planum Boreum at the Martian North Pole.[1]
    The project was international, involving over 25 scientists and engineers, co-ordinated by Charles S. Cockell. Pole Station was designed to operate for three summers and two polar winters.
    Amongst a diversity of scientific objectives the station occupants were to retrieve a deep core from within the Martian polar ice cap. Expeditions were planned to numerous locations across the Martian north polar cap, including the Chasma Boreale and the polar layered terrains.
    The study involved wide ranging investigations of the scientific priorities for a human presence at the Martian polar ice caps through to detailed architectural and design studies for the station.
    Studies were undertaken on mobility and communications and psycho-social issues for long-term operation at the Martian polar station. – wikipedia.org/wiki/Project

  2. Sounds to me like a Lord of the Flies scenario, only this time nobody comes to pick them up in the end. Nothing less than rape of a planet. This virgin landscape should be left alone as much as possible and only be touched by scientists.

  3. In reply to #3 by Lonard:

    Sounds to me like a Lord of the Flies scenario, only this time nobody comes to pick them up in the end. Nothing less than rape of a planet. This virgin landscape should be left alone as much as possible and only be touched by scientists.

    I disagree. It’s open to whoever can get there. Scientific knowledge is important but it is not everything. Why not rape this planet? Were there sentient life there, I could understand but I doubt our knowledge will be damaged by a bit of planet raping. Imagine if the Americas were treated the same way. I expect all that Mars will teach us is its differences to Earth. We won’t cure cancer on Mars or fight disease there. It needs to be dominated, we’re running out of room here. Virgin landscapes are only good for photographs, what a waste.

  4. In reply to #2 by Alan4discussion:

    There seem to be quite a number of issues that have not been thought through, – even as far as looking at rival plans for Mars bases, which provide technological solutions to some of their logistical problems.

    There do not seem to be adequate science objectives or purpose for the life-long commitment expected of participants.

    That’s what I like about. It’s impatient and not well thought out. We just wanna go now!

    This is buckwild, basically just get there and see what happens, based on the assumption that it will change the world and make it the priority it needs to be for it to happen. Perhaps just getting the infrastructure built will do that, give nations something to bid for. There’s something utterly offensive and tasteless about such an historic event being brought about by a reality-TV show, and that brings to light how much nations have failed in advancing the cause of science.

    I hope I don’t understand their proposed living quarters. Those inflatable flats look a bit sketchy. I want a little more radiation/dust-storm shielding before signing up.

  5. In reply to #5 by This Is Not A Meme:

    In reply to #2 by Alan4discussion:

    There seem to be quite a number of issues that have not been thought through, – even as far as looking at rival plans for Mars bases, which provide technological solutions to some of their logistical problems.

    There do not seem to be adequate science objectives or purpose for the life-long commitment expected of participants.

    That’s what I like about. It’s impatient and not well thought out. We just wanna go now!

    Nasa used this approach in the “faster-cheaper-better” probes to Mars, but after a series of disasters, learned from their mistakes. This lot are media stunt-men who do not yet even seem to have thought about which mistakes they are suggesting, so are oblivious to research needs, costs, etc.!

    This is buckwild, basically just get there and see what happens, based on the assumption that it will change the world and make it the priority it needs to be for it to happen.

    They will probably surpass the levels of mortality for early US colonists, who had a similar approach – if they ever get off the ground at all.

    Perhaps just getting the infrastructure built will do that, give nations something to bid for. There’s something utterly offensive and tasteless about such an historic event being brought about by a reality-TV show, and that brings to light how much nations have failed in advancing the cause of science.

    .. … .. .. . . Or it may simply illustrate how little to promoters know about preparation and planning for such a mission!

    Even if the punters survive the journey ( for which the time looks too short), they may just land with a bang and discourage further manned landings!

    I hope I don’t understand their proposed living quarters. Those inflatable flats look a bit sketchy. I want a little more radiation/dust-storm shielding before signing up.

    This is just one of the shortcomings I pointed out @2. The Project Boreas habitation units, have motorised tracks to move them into position after landing, and are inflated with water, which is in a polar area where the available ice is unlikely to melt again naturally. It will freeze solid into a radiation shield.

    Long term habitation may need to be built underground.

    Their spacesuit/airlock images, suggest they have not thought about dust contamination or contamination of Mars with Earth organisms.

    There are more than enough commercial cowboy outfits on Earth, without starting on new planets!

  6. Ohhhh goodie! I want a caravan just like that one. Yes, yet another merchandising opportunity for the production. heehaw. Mars One, though, could be a legend in the making. If the plan can turn a profit before the first people actually blast off, and I reckon that it could given the global power of the media, then even the saddest next stage outcome will be risked. Hmm, ongoing supplies and funding of same, risk of commercial failure while supporting the Mars “winners”, and so on. I hope 20 years is enough to jump all the hurdles. Success, well that could be transformative for humanity. And what a trip watching those shows. It could generate several channels worth of programming every day. But could it stay exciting? Imagine ten years after the show is cancelled, funding has dried up, breeding ceased (yeah, remote-control implants triggered by ‘head office’) and all the programming is just the hum-drum lonely ageing hamster humans on peek-a-boo cam trudging for a few decades to an inevitable last episode. You’d want to be a fatalistic hero to get in that rocket with a one-way ticket. But you’d still be a hero, just the same.

  7. In reply to #9 by Alan4discussion:

    Even if the punters survive the journey ( for which the time looks too short), they may just land with a bang and discourage further manned landings!

    There is precedent for that, Challenger. There was no technical need to stop the missions for so many years and place NASA under military control, but there was so much misconception and emotional fallout. The reason for the disaster was not mysterious. It was purely due to communication/political/bureaucratic error. The scientists and engineers did not have enough power. Our systems are still not designed to work with scientists.

    These monumental tasks are reliant on our social systems. It can be the state, market forces, or tyrant’s decree. The Cold War space-race demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of two social systems. Commercial enterprise has its own pros and cons, communication and priority idiosyncrasies. If the mission was to mine precious minerals, it would not be as worrisome as a reality TV show. The mission is removed from pragmatism, and that’s reflected in their plan (so far). Private enterprise is driven on short-term gain. I’m sure they can get the photo-op, but beyond that I worry. Even with the most mindful, noble motivations and staff, the management structure of private enterprise can be unfit.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson asserts it is historically government’s role to do the initial steps in discovery to secure an incentive for profiteers, but he’s stumping to get just 1% of the national budget dedicated to space. I’m hoping this can help that campaign by shaming the world’s governments. Once they land infrastructure, that will be the be the game changer, surpassing nations. I just hope they sell it to the Russians and bow out gracefully, having done their part to push things forward.

  8. and I don’t mean to put a jinx on it, but this is Nixon’s undelivered Moon speech, in case the lander could not get off the surface. That was a risk. We didn’t know if it would work, but that’s going buckwild.

    Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

    These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

    These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

    They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

    In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

    In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

    Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

    For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

  9. Apart from technological and cost issues the project is unlikely to succeed due to the psychological impact on the volunteers. One way ticket to a life of crushing boredom and danger on a hostile world without family or any of the day to day experiences that make life worth living. More extreme than permanent settlement at the South Pole and no-one has volunteered for that. Despair, insanity and suicide!

  10. In reply to #11 by This Is Not A Meme:

    In reply to #9 by Alan4discussion:

    Even if the punters survive the journey ( for which the time looks too short), they may just land with a bang and discourage further manned landings!

    There is precedent for that, Challenger. There was no technical need to stop the missions for so many years and place NASA under military control, but there was so much misconception and emotional fallout.

    I would differ. They had to stop shuttle-launches, while the concept that contingency planning and safety were not optional extras which could be scrubbed to meet unrealistic budgets or time scales. They then had to take years to redesign and test many systems to incorporate these features.

    The reason for the disaster was not mysterious. It was purely due to communication/political/bureaucratic error. The scientists and engineers did not have enough power. Our systems are still not designed to work with scientists.

    Very much so! The managers dismissed the engineers’ expert opinions and warnings because there was “no evidence”. There was no evidence because the managers had refused funding for the tests (of effects of low temperatures on seals), which were needed to produce the evidence.

    There was an unfit vehicle on the launch pad, and no funding to provide pre-launch evidence why it would go bang!

    They still had to have a second Colombia shuttle disaster, before the lessons of engineering before PR & politics were learned. Once again, they did the tests AFTER THE EVENT, showing how ridiculously wrong earlier assumptions were!

    These monumental tasks are reliant on our social systems. It can be the state, market forces, or tyrant’s decree. The Cold War space-race demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of two social systems. Commercial enterprise has its own pros and cons, communication and priority idiosyncrasies. If the mission was to mine precious minerals, it would not be as worrisome as a reality TV show.

    There are many better and more cost effective places to mine minerals in the Solar system, if transporting them to Earth or Earth orbit, is the objective.

    The mission is removed from pragmatism, and that’s reflected in their plan (so far). Private enterprise is driven on short-term gain. I’m sure they can get the photo-op, but beyond that I worry. Even with the most mindful, noble motivations and staff, the management structure of private enterprise can be unfit.

    These people are demonstrably unfit!

    Only an idiot would try to have a democratic vote to select expertise for this sort of mission!

    Once they land infrastructure, that will be the be the game changer, surpassing nations. I just hope they sell it to the Russians and bow out gracefully, having done their part to push things forward.

    I don’t think there is the slightest chance that this project will land usable infrastructure, or a competent crew!

    At best they will survive long enough to get in the way of other projects, or launch a public media campaign for someone else to divert resources to pay for a rescue mission!

    Watching isolated people living in small metal boxes, rapidly becomes VERY boring!

    Only a productive science base is likely to catch the imagination, and even that (as Apollo showed) will only hold the attention of the wider public for a while. If there was a market for this day-to-day stuff, it would have been done with the International Space station!

  11. In reply to #15 by bluebird:

    Dr. Chris McKay, an advisor for Mars One, is rarin’ to go with terra forming Mars; wow, no small task.

    That’s another good reason why cowboy amateurs should not be allowed near Mars!

    Mars is too small, and too cold for Terra-forming to work in the long term, and in any case, it would not provide an Earth-like atmosphere or climate.

    It would just mess up the planet for a few thousand years and then fail, making the ground unstable, causing problems with transport, while making maintaining, and operating bases, difficult.

    Today’s law students should study ‘space law’!!

    wikipedia.org/wiki/Space law already exists. There are vast sums of money involved in contracts for launches and satellite operations.

  12. I think their idea is crazy, but I’m all for it provided they keep their word and don’t try to get other people to pay for it.

    What really gets me is the idea that if we don’t go to mars in the next few years, somehow that’s bad. I say, what’s the big hurry. If they wait 100 years, then it’s likely that most all the problems of space flight will be solved and a trip to mars would be cheap. And if it’s still expensive, then that means that few here on earth think it’s worthwhile, otherwise someone would get rich supplying trips to mars.

    Consider the big hurry to decode a single genome – which cost what, 10′s of billions, only to have a few private companies spring up that now do the job in a few weeks for about 10 thousand. That’s 6 orders of magnitude cheaper in less than 2 decades.

    But if these guys can do it on their own dime, I’d even watch the show. I’d even commit a few dollars on a kickstarter project to help them out.

  13. Erm Rocket888 I don’t think you have thought your supposition through…

    ” I say, what’s the big hurry. If they wait 100 years, then it’s likely that most all the problems of space flight will be solved and a trip to mars would be cheap. Consider the big hurry to decode a single genome – which cost what, 10′s of billions, only to have a few private companies spring up that now do the job in a few weeks for about 10 thousand. “

    Taking the painful and expensive first steps to achieve anything is what makes subsequent attempts quick and cheap. It’s called progress!

    At 5 years old I didn’t decide to not bother learning mathematics because at 20 I would be able to learn it with less effort.

  14. In reply to #16 by Alan4discussion:

    wikipedia.org/wiki/Space law already exists. There are vast sums of money involved in contracts for launches and satellite operations.

    I’m surprised the wikipedia article failed to mention the Antarctica Treaty as the precedent and standard for space law, in letter and in spirit.

    http://www.state.gov/t/isn/5181.htm

    It was the beginning of a legal, technocratic-scientific domain. It changes the question from ‘how do we divide the resource’ to ‘how do we share it?’ By establishing space and Antarctica as scientific preserves it renders national interests moot (at odds with humanity). That was my only problem with Newt Gingrich’s plan to make the Moon the 51st U.S. state. Other than that, it was the sanest thing I heard from Republican candidates.

  15. In reply to #17 by rocket888:

    If they wait 100 years, then it’s likely that most all the problems of space flight will be solved and a trip to mars would be cheap.

    100 years??? Are you insane? We can’t wait that long!

    Australia is almost full.

  16. In reply to #3 by Lonard:

    Sounds to me like a Lord of the Flies scenario, only this time nobody comes to pick them up in the end. Nothing less than rape of a planet. This virgin landscape should be left alone as much as possible and only be touched by scientists.

    Those chosen will be trained as scientists for 8 years. That’s a third of my life. While I majored in Philosophy in college, if I were chosen, I don’t think I would have any problem becoming a scientist worthy of “touching Mars” after 8 years of intensive training.

  17. In reply to #15 by bluebird:

    I read with interest Dr. Chris McKay’s article about terra-forming: I’m not a scientist, but I understood that one of the possible reasons for Mars losing its atmosphere in the past was its weak magnetic field failing to protect it from solar radiation. So I’m not sure that simply pumping greenhouse gases is going to be the whole solution. Is there more to the plan than what’s expressed in the article?

    Today’s law students should study ‘space law’!!

    I foresee lawsuits; incoming message from Mars – “get an attorney, this is not what I signed up for!”

    Dr. Chris McKay, an advisor for Mars One, is rarin’ to go with terra forming Mars; wow, no small task.

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