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.
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. 🙂