Chris Brandrick on the first civilian recruitment drive for Martian colonization:
Just as NASA’s latest rover prepares to land on the surface of Mars, one Dutch company is looking to up the ante, with plans to send humans to the distant red planet. But before you sign up for travels to faraway lands, you may want to take note that the trip is a one-way deal, meaning you’ll never be able to return home to Earth.
Mars One, the ambitious company behind the planned mission, is hoping that a number of brave civilians will be willing to embark upon the mission to be the first to occupy the planet.
The company, founded by Bas Lansdorp, wants to send a number of humans to live on our neighboring planet indefinitely by 2023. The timeline for the mission will see Mars One send out a communications satellite in 2016, with a rover being sent in 2018 to find a suitable site for a settlement. Once the company finds a suitable location, it’ll send settlement units to Mars in 2020, which the existing rover will then set-up.
Once it gets the settlement established, Mars One hopes to send a small crew that would leave Earth in December of 2022, and arrive in April of 2023.
Visiting Mars would be fantastic, but I think I’ll wait until a return booking is possible.