Mars One, a Dutch non-profit sending humans into space to colonise Mars, is down from its original 200,000 applicants to a lucky 100 finalists.
From these 100, only 24 will be chosen to form six crews of four. These four person crews will leave for Mars every two years starting in the year 2024 and eventually create a small village on Martian soil. Of the 100 finalists, there are five Britons:
Hannah Earnshaw, an astronomy student at The University of Durham; Alison Rigby, a lab technician from Kent; Maggie Lieu, an astrophysics student at the University of Birmingham; Ryan MacDonald, a Master’s student in physics at the University of Oxford; and Clare Weedon, a systems information manager for Virgin Media, who lives in Addlestone in Surrey.
Obviously there is a lot of ground to cover if you plan on sending handfuls of people on a one way trip to Mars. Things like what sort of medical facilities will be in place, how will crops grow, what happens if someone dies, what about any psychological troubles?
All applicants will go through a series of physical and mental tests prior to the launch and there will be psychologists on hand for the new Martians. In terms of medical equipment, there will be services to treat minor and common illnesses, but major illnesses will be impossible to treat.
However, as these explorers will be spending the rest of their lives on Mars, when someone dies a cremation and memorial ceremony will take place in their honour.
Mars One will be completely reliant on already existing technology to launch this mission and will consist of 7 primary hardware components: the simulation outpost, launcher, Mars transit vehicle, Mars landing capsule, several rovers, Mars suits, and a communications system.
Despite this, a recent study from MIT does not seem hopeful for these young explorers.
â€œWeâ€™re not saying, black and white, Mars One is infeasible,â€ said Olivier de Weck, an MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems. â€œBut we do think itâ€™s not really feasible under the assumptions theyâ€™ve made. Weâ€™re pointing to technologies that could be helpful to invest in with high priority, to move them along the feasibility path.â€
The MIT study also speculates that, if the first wave of explores do land safely after 7 months of space travel, they will only survive about 68 days.
We wish the best of luck to these future Martians and hope all travels are safe travels.