One way trip to Mars anyone?

I like to read the morning papers online. Okay, I confess. I like to read the SPORTS sections of the morning papers online. Though, this is proof that sometimes a story catches my eye that is a million miles away from sport.

In this case an average of about 140 million miles away.

The Red Plant: Mars.

Mosaic image of Mars as seen by Viking 1, 22 F...

Mosaic image of Mars as seen by Viking 1, 22 February 1980 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The article was in Wired.Com and relates to Mars One and their plans to send us to Mars from around 2022.


Mars One, a nonprofit organisation based in the Netherlands, intends to establish a human settlement on Mars in 2023.

They need astronauts.

Anyone on planet Earth can apply if they meet the basic requirements. But obviously, the job isn’t for just anyone.

On 8 January, Mars One released its application criteria. Among other virtues, astronaut candidates must have “a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. They must be resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful.” And be at least 18 years old (no maximum age has been set).

The selection process will begin during the first half of 2013. Mars One experts and viewers of a “global, televised programme” — think reality TV where the prize could be a trip to a dry, dusty world — will choose from among the applications. Those ultimately selected will be assembled into teams of four. At least six teams are supposed to be ready to launch in September 2022. But only one team will make the first trip to the Red Planet, and that team will be decided democratically.

“The people of Earth will have a vote which group of four will be the first Earth ambassadors on Mars,” the Mars One website says. Subsequent teams will be sent in two-year intervals.

At least eight years of training will be provided before launch, including simulated missions, practice in a restricted mobility environment, and lessons in electronics, equipment repair, basic and critical medical care. In 2016, the company plans to begin rocketing supplies to Mars, including spare parts, two rovers, and living units that can be assembled into a base once humans arrive.

But it’s a one-way trip for all involved: Once on Mars, there’s no coming back.

I wish I were younger.

I wish that the space race to the Moon brought this type of adventure in the 70s so that I could have dreamt of making such a journey. Okay, I’m not that old, but this type of trip is beyond me. I can’t seem to manage to leave the country, let alone the PLANET.

My wife asked, “are you going to apply?”

I said, “it would mean leaving you. They’re not coming back.”

She said, “I know.”

I’m not sure how to take that. 🙂

What about your dreams?

Are you up for the challenge and the application process to be an astronaut? A one-way trip to Mars?

This is the official video for the Mars project. Any takers?

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you decide to apply. 🙂


About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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21 Responses to One way trip to Mars anyone?

  1. Hmm…in 2023, I’ll be 28 years old…done with university…so I might be able to fit such an excursion into my schedule, perhaps…as long as they let me bring my Star Wars figurine collection….

  2. Two-way trip, yes. One-way trip? I don’t think I’m brave enough for that. But it sure is cool to dream about, isn’t it?

    • Pete Denton says:

      I’m sure that they might be allowed to return in time. Maybe it’s just the fact that each mission is planned to be one way so the ship turns into one of the pods. Seems so final though. Very cool to dream 🙂

      • I suspect it’s a permanent one-way trip because they would have no way of getting spacecraft off of Mars again. Wouldn’t you need an elaborate launch platform like they have at Cape Canaveral to get a ship off of Mars? It’s not like the Moon where there’s no atmosphere and practically no gravity.

        • Pete Denton says:

          I’d not thought of that.

          I saw once, years ago, that people were employed to work on the terraformation of Mars. What a cool job! At the time I thought a job that they would never be able to see come to fruition. Mars One better not let me down 😉

  3. Wow, what an adventure! There’s got to be a lot of takers for that right? For someone without a family, fab. Life is a one-way ticket anyway (I’m not sure if that means much, but it sounds good!).

    • Pete Denton says:

      Adventure of a life-time. If this all comes off these people will be living the dream for sure. I hope it all works. I’d love to live in a world where we’re starting to live on other planets. Sci-fi dreams coming true 🙂

  4. 4amWriter says:

    You had me until you said ‘one way trip’. It makes me a little squeamish to think about why we wouldn’t let them come back home…

    • Pete Denton says:

      I does seem so … final doesn’t it? I presume they get to use the ship as one of the pods to live in or can save space on fuel. I hope one of the chosen astronauts is a doctor with an extensive medicine cabinet 🙂

  5. I’ve already been into space a number if times in my dreams. Sounds silly, but feels pretty real when I’m there. One time I dreamt I flew past a failed Swiss space mission and there were all kinds of space birds circling the ship. In real life I’d love to go into space but I’m not sure I’ve got what it takes. Plus I’ve got small children. Do you think I could take them with me?

  6. I don’t think I would apply. I’m too set in my earthly ways. If I were in my 20s it would be a grand adventure. But now I would miss my DVR too much. 😛

  7. Oh wow I don’t think I could ever do that! I’d love to visit space somehow, and if this was a two way drip I’d definitely do it! Its the permanent aspect that just frightens me!

  8. EllaDee says:

    I’m not interested but as I gaze around from my office desk, a few faces spring to mind that I might send the article to 😉
    BTW… your wife’s response is priceless 🙂

    • Pete Denton says:

      Well done for being the first to suggest sending this to other people. I wish I had a prize to send you for that one 🙂

      My wife’s not mentioned it since. I’m expecting the application form dropping through the post any day now 😉

  9. Pingback: Mars One – Update | Pete Denton - Writer

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