Tag Archive for Mars

100,000 people apply to go to Mars and not return: Project

More than 100,000 people have applied for a one-way trip to Mars, as a part of the ambitious multi-billion dollar project that aims to colonize the Red planet starting in 2022.

While it remains questionable how humans would be able to survive on Mars, it has not stopped a whopping number of people from signing up for the The Mars One project.

“There is also a very large number of people who are still working on their profile, so either they have decided not to pay the application fee, or they are still making their video or they’re still filling out the questionnaire or their resume. So the people that you can see on-line are only the ones that have finished and who have set their profiles as public,” said Bas Lansdorp, Mars One CEO and co-founder.

Lansdorp did not specify how many have paid the fees, completed their profiles and configured them as private.

The application process specifies anyone 18 or older may apply, but the fee depends on a user’s nationality. For US citizens, the application fee is USD 38, ‘CNN’ reported.

The company said it sets the price based on the gross domestic product per capita of each nation.

“We wanted it to be high enough for people to have to really think about it and low enough for anyone to be able to afford it,” Lansdorp said.

As far as the first crew is concerned, the mission will cost USD 6 billion, Lansdorp said.

He said the idea is for it to be funded by sponsors and media that will pay for broadcasting rights of shows and movies documenting everything from the astronauts’ training on Earth to their deployment and colonisation of Mars.

Mars One said, out of the applicants, it will select a multi-continental group of 40 astronauts this year. Four of them – two men and two women – are set to leave for Mars in September 2022, landing in April 2023.

One more group of four will be deployed two years later. None of them will return to Earth, according to the mission plan.

The astronauts will undergo a required eight-year training. They will learn how to repair habitat structures, grow vegetables in confined spaces and address “both routine and serious medical issues such as dental upkeep, muscle tears and bone fractures,” according to the project site.

Lansdorp said each lander the project sends will be able to carry about 5,511 pounds of “useful load” to Mars.

Despite the risks of space travel, the Mars One founder said he is convinced of the viability of the project.

However, some space travel experts have said the risks are far too high to carry out these manned missions to Mars, a distance that humans have never travelled.

ISRO All Set to Step-Up in Mars

As India prepares to launch its Rs. 450 crore mission to Mars this year, a top space official said the country’s first martian odyssey — that has attracted some criticism — is not just for pride but for undertaking “meaningful research”.

K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), also debunked perception in some quarters that the Mars Orbiter mission around the red planet, that’s just three months away, is primarily a “feel-good” package to just pat ourselves on the back.

“It’s not for pride because the exploration of Mars has its own scientific value and possibly a future habitat which people are talking about…may be 20 years…30 years from now…it’s possible”, he said in an interview, referring to the colonisation angle.

India will be the sixth country to launch a mission to Mars after the U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan and China. ISRO says the primary objectives are to demonstrate India’s technological capability to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment.

“What’s the most interesting question on Mars? Life. So, we talk about Methane…which is of biological origin or geological origin. So, we have a methane sensor plus a thermal infrared spectrometer. These two together should be able to give some information”, said Mr. Radhakrishnan, who is also Secretary in the Department of Space.

Critics of the Indian Mars mission wondered whether the country can afford huge costs for this space voyage. The Mars satellite, which would be launched on board Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL), will carry compact science experiments, totalling a mass of 15 kg. There will be five instruments to study Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy.

After leaving earth orbit in November, the spacecraft will cruise in deep space for 10 months using its own propulsion system and will reach Mars (Martian transfer trajectory) in September 2014. The 1350 kg spacecraft subsequently is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80,000 km elliptical orbit around Mars.

“We want to look at environment of Mars for various elements like Deuterium-Hydrogen ratio. We also want to look at other constituents — neutral constituents”, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

“There are several things which Mars will tells us, this is what the scientific community thinks about the life on Mars”, he said, adding that scientists started taking interest on Mars from the 18th century onwards. “Our (Mars mission) experiments are planned in such a way that you can decide when you want to put on each of these systems”, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

“If we succeed (in the mission), it positions India into group of countries who will have the ability to look at Mars. In future, certainly, there will be synergy between various countries in such exploration. That’s taking place. That time India will be a country to be counted”, he said.