Episode Two: Mars One, and Beyond!

Join us as we inch closer to seeding our solar system with reality TV show contestants, beginning with our red neighbour: Mars!
Oxygen explosions, bio-dome design flaws and cannibalistic insanity will need to be overcome in order to reach that lonely crimson orb and ensure that capitalism is spread to the furthest corners of the galaxy.

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Mars One

Podcast Notes
  • Bas Lanndorp introduced Mission One in May of 2012. He financed most of the mission himself and does not himself plan to be a colonist on Mars.
  • Mars One accepts donations and of course corporate sponsors are welcome to buy Space advertising space!
  • The Mars One application process didn’t demand any professional qualifications, but rather that the candidates be “Resilient, Adaptable, Curious, Trustworthy and Trusting, Creative/Resourceful, Above the age of 18, have an A2 English level and meet other physical requirements.”
  • The selection process goes through four different rounds. We are currently up to round three. You can see more at the above link.
  • Mars One selected a third-round pool of astronaut candidates in 2015 of 100 people — 50 men and 50 women who successfully passed the second round. The candidates come from all around the world, namely 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. You can see the full list on the Mars One Website.
  • Here’s that really nerve-wrecking documentary about the Mars Rover Curiosity design and launch challenge.
  • According to NASA it currently takes six to eight months to get to Mars. A way of reducing this time is to utilise in-space propulsion techniques which is too confusing to wrap one’s head around.
  • An argument for spending less money on NASA and more on Ocean and Water exploration.
  • While it is easy to create oxygen for the space-settlers, there is a problem of creating too much oxygen. The current plan suggests that oxygen will be produced by plants which will be grown for food. But, according to the MIT report, our little guinea pigs will need FOUR TIMES the amount of plants to supply adequate amounts of food and thus need to account for an excess of oxygen which is a fire hazard. The whole matter is explained very succinctly in an article relaying the MIT Paper’s findings. Have a looksy!
  • Listen to this horrific recording of the Apollo 1 Mission discover the beginning of the end due to oxygen and fire. “Fire in the cockpit!”
  • “Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clarke
From the Mouth of Mars One

All of the ‘Facts’ reported by the Mars One Mission Official Website

Mission Statement
It is Mars One’s goal to establish a human settlement on Mars. Human settlement of Mars is the next giant leap for humankind. Exploring the solar system as a united humanity will bring us all closer together.

Mars is the stepping stone of the human race on its voyage into the universe. Human settlement on Mars will aid our understanding of the origins of the solar system, the origins of life and our place in the universe. As with the Apollo Moon landings, a human mission to Mars will inspire generations to believe that all things are possible, anything can be achieved.

Reasons why the mission is ‘feasible’
*Despite the optimism suggested by these great ‘design decisions,’ Fact Hammer, as always, encourages skepticism.

  • The absence of a return mission radically reduces the infrastructure necessities. No return vehicle, no new technology needed to lift off from Mars, no extra propellant needed.
  • Permanent settlement also solved the challenge of the astronauts entering into Earth’s atmosphere after having spent about two years in reduced or zero gravity environments.
  • Use of In-Situ resources.. taken word for ford from the website.

    Mars has resources that can be used for a sustainable settlement. Water is present in the soil and can be made available to the settlement for hygiene, drinking, and farming. It is also the source of oxygen generated through electrolysis. Nitrogen and Argon in the Martian atmosphere can be mined to be the inert part of the atmosphere inside the habitat. Martian soil will cover the outpost to block cosmic radiation. Carbon dioxide can be taken from the atmosphere if the plants take in more than the humans expel.

  • The Sun exists. Apparently.
  • Oh and so does solar panel technology – lightweight and easily transportable.
  • Other existing technology will be useful. Such as . . well it’s not really detailed on their website. But rest-assured, “While most of the components required are not immediately available with the exact specifications, there is no need for radical modifications to the current component designs.”
  • Oh wait, here’s the existing technology page! Apparently they will be using technology that is not ‘substantially different’ from existing technology.
  • Suggested ‘Challenges’ and ‘Risks’

    • It’s dangerous

    Problems in the design

    • If all food is obtained from locally grown crops, as Mars One envisions, the vegetation would produce unsafe levels of oxygen, which would set off a series of events that would eventually cause human inhabitants to suffocate. To avoid this scenario, a system to remove excess oxygen would have to be implemented — a technology that has not yet been developed for use in space.
    • Current technologies designed to “bake” water from soil are not yet ready for deployment, particularly in space.
    • This MIT news article sums it up!

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