If things go as planned by a Dutch venture, there’s a strong likelihood of human settlements on the Red Planet by 2023. The Dutch company has just received its first funding from the sponsors.
Sponsorship had been a major hurdle for Mars One. However, with that hurdle now overcome, the company plans to fund most of its activities via a global reality-TV media event. The show will “follow the mission from selection of astronauts through their first years on the Red planet”.
Mars One founder and President Bas Lansdorp said, “A little more than a year ago we embarked down this path, calling upon industry experts to share in our bold dream. Today, we have moved from a technical plan into the first stage of funding, giving our dream a foundation in reality.”
The Red Planet’s name, inspired from the Greek God of war befits the planet’s color. The ancient Roman, Chinese and Egyptians also named this planet based on its color.
Most of the initial sponsors of the project are internet companies including “Byte Internet (a Dutch Internet/Webhosting provider); Dutch lawfirm VBC Notarissen; Dutch consulting company MeetIn; New-Energy.tv (an independent Dutch web station that focuses on energy and climate); and Dejan SEO (an Australia-based search engine optimization firm)”.
According to the current plans of Mars One, a series of robotic mission between 2016 and 2020 will strive to build a habitable outpost on the planet, while the first four astronauts will set foot on the planet in 2023 followed by more arrivals every second year. Surprisingly, the company has not revealed or does not have plans for a return voyage to Earth.
To sustain a civilization on Mars, terraforming will be a necessary requirement and it is yet to be ascertained if terraformation is possible. The arguments that Mars is a distant inhospitable planet cannot be sustained for the same arguments were offered before America and Australia were colonized.
Mars One company officials have been in touch with private spaceflight firms for necessary supplies required for their mission. They have now at least one supplier for “every major piece of the Mars colony mission”.
According to the estimates of Mars One, the mission is likely to cost $6 billion to transfer the first four humans to the Red Planet. The company hopes most of the mission cost will be offset by the televised show expected to begin in 2013.