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article imageVolunteers sought for Mars colony — catch is you never come back

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 19, 2013 in Science
Bas Lansdorp told CBC Radio in Canada on Monday that his intention to send a mission to Mars is seeking willing participants. He can, and will, he says, get them there but the job lasts a lifetime because he can't bring them back.
"The technology to get humans to Mars and keep them alive there exists," Lansdorp, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands, told Brent Bambury in a CBC Radio talk last week. "The technology to bring humans from Mars back to Earth simply does not exist yet."
Mars One: countdown to mission launch
Lansdorp said the mission, Mars One, will go in 2023 and the astronaut participants selected will receive 8 years of training. They will establish a colony on Mars and Lansdorp expects it to survive and become a thriving community. Four astronauts will initially take the 7 month journey and be followed by 2 more every 2 years until there are more than 20 on the planet; they will live in a habitat the first will build.
To date, Lansdorp said he has over 8,000 volunteers who have tossed their hat, or rather space helmet, into the astronaut ring but he has not set an exact date by which he will make the first selections. Skeptics have said the entire scheme is nothing more than a publicity stunt being foisted upon a gullible world; others feel Lansdorp is serious but will not be able to pull it off.
First humans on planet Mars
There are many aspects of the project said already to be taken care of; for example, the supplier of the space suits, ILC Dover, is onboard, as is Surrey Satellite Technology, reported to be supplying the satellite that will orbit Mars and transmit audio, video and other data between the colony and Earth. Besides sponsors who will supply equipment and technology, Mars One will be funded in a variety of ways, including donations and creating a global reality TV/media event around the project and in particular the first landing.
"How many people do you think would want to watch the first humans arrive on Mars?” This will be one of the biggest events in human history," Mr. Lansdorp asked in an interview with the New York Times earlier this month. “We are talking about creating a major media spectacle, much bigger than the moon landings or the Olympics, and with huge potential for revenues coming from TV rights and sponsorships.”
The 36-year-old Lansdorp, who has a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, told the CBC that the potential astronauts he'll select from the applicants will be those who work well in group situations, are dependable and who are "at their best when things are at their worst."
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