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Feb 16 2015

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Mars One downselects to 100 astronaut candidates

Pretty slick video…due to the imagery, it’s worth watching. Spoiler alert though: some of the banalities expressed (quoted? Really?) by the remaining candidates may make you want to spew…or at least not watch the video to its completion.

I was asked just last week what my thoughts on Mars One was, so I’ll quote myself here:

MIT conducted an analysis on the Mars One concept, and I generally agree with its conclusions. Even assuming the crew make it from Earth to Mars (probable) and land safely (VERY iffy for the size/weight they’re talking given current technology), they’d start dying off in about 70 days due to oxygen issues from the crops they’d have to grow.

According to the MIT study, even IF all technical issues were resolved, fully 62% of the cargo manifest would have to dedicated to spare parts to keep things running for a 10 year period. You’d have to send a significant chunk of those spare parts with the first voyage, because there’s no good way to predict part failure, particularly in an alien environment.

There are other things the Analysis points out, particularly that the number of launches to establish the initial base is wildly optimistic. While SpaceX might like hearing that it would take 15 Falcon Heavy launches to pre-stage the colony, I’m pretty sure Mars One investors aren’t.

There’s also the “Third Quarter” effect, which effects every astronaut sometime after the midpoint of the mission (no matter how long that mission’s duration). Basically, humans get aggressive and emotional when the newness of the mission wears off, but the end of the mission seems so far away. Mars One is a one-way ticket, so there’s no telling how the crew will cope. My guess (and that’s all it is) is that Mars One crew would suffer Third Quarter effects in transit to Mars, and then again once they’ve settled into a routine on Mars.

Believe me, if I thought that Mars One was the way to Mars, I would have applied. It ain’t. I personally believe it’s actually a boondoggle/scam, and the poor suckers who have donated their money will never see an actual Mars One launch. If it’s not a scam, then it’s a suicide mission. Either way, it’s bad juju.

At best, these poor schmoes who get picked to go will be remembered as a footnote in history, like the Lost Colony. And I question any group dynamic where all three individuals willingly go on a long-duration suicide mission — two of them may not even make it to Mars’ surface…just sayin’.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/16/mars-one-downselects-to-100-astronaut-candidates/

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