Mars One: Human Settlement on the Red Planet in 2023
Mars One recently announced that they plan to establish a human settlement on Mars by 2023. Seriously. This is the sort of story that seems more apt as the plot of a science fiction film or even a joke, but Mars One is quite serious and determined to get four humans on their way into the new settlements in a journey that would begin in 2022--with other space preparations beginning in 2016.
A human hasn’t ever set foot on a planet as far as Mars, and the group says they have one thing that sets them apart from others with similar aspirations: their trip is only one way. So, while four lucky humans will have the chance to live life on the red planet, the catch is that they might never return to Earth (at least for their near future). According to Mars One’s website, “Emigrating does not have to mean permanent residence on Mars. Once the settlement is populated, we can send components for a return rocket. With people on Mars the occupants can build, fuel and check the return rocket.” While this does sidestep some of those pesky concerns, it also means that applicants would likely need to be prepared to stay on Mars… for a good long while during the initial stages.
Oh, did we mention yet that it is going to be a reality television show too? That is correct. Their website cites two reasons for this, “Besides the fact that the media spectacle is the only way to finance the mission, it is also just really interesting for all the people remaining on Earth to see the first human settlement on a new planet live. A manned mission to Mars is one of the most exciting, inspiring and ambitious adventures that mankind can take on. We see this as a journey that belongs to us all.” It’s both insane and entirely brilliant. It’s like a science fiction film, but without the fiction. Who wouldn’t turn it on to see what life is like for the four sole residents of Mars? Yet, it also poses a strange concern: do we really want to see conflict and would we really be content if nothing happened?
When it comes down to it, it still seems more like an intriguing theory that only time will either prove to be a reality or another forgotten aspiration. Until 2016 and the start of preparations, tide yourselves over with the Mars One introduction film and tell me that it doesn’t seem like one you’d see playing in the background of a sci-fi film: