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Mars Colony Project to begin astronaut search by July 2013

ObedientiaZelum said:
There are a bunch hit TV shows pulling in millions about crap like rich house wives crying about how rough their life is and guys who make duck calls and eat frogs. If he puts a camera anywhere near this project he's getting a return.

How many people tuned in for the first mission to the moon? And that was before many people had easy access to TVs.

Sure, long stretches of the trip would be boring, but I can imagine a weekly show based on the mission, with product placement, making at least some money.
Space missions that have tried to fund via media have a 100% failure rate. These were missions of significantly less cost and difficulty than going to Mars that have never gotten off the ground. This is what Mars One is trying to do, and the is run by Bas Landorp. That is likely going to end up as a reality show on earth, with people 'training' to go to Mars. The real cost of going to Mars, mercy. There is no way they are going to be able to scrape of the Trillions they need to make this happen through advertising.

Elon Musk is CEO of SpaceX and is a profitable company that claims to have a drive for Mars. However, they haven't made any actual steps towards that yet. Although it is still very early in the game for profitable space ventures, the companies talk of Mars is spinning a vision that is a far cry from their immediate mandate. Elon is using the image to push his workers harder for less pay on a long term dream.

The one Mars mission that has a strong chance, and that has been popping in and out of negotiations is the 'Inspiration Mars' mission. Originally proposed for 2018, it has moved to 2021. This is because the Orion Spacecraft is not ready yet. This will be a Venus - Mars flyby mission. Seven years seems like a really long time right now though.

Scientist are doing really well with space probes. They are becoming more cost effective and getting amazing results. Curiosity rover, and the Kepler telescope being the primary examples. If we want the best bang for our buck, this is the really productive route for us presently. Mars is a crab shoot with the odds against us, and very little gained overall if a Man does walk on Mars. Men walked on the Moon for the sake of having a Man walk on the Moon. This resulted in no one going back since.
More on "real" missions to Mars. The Falcon 9 and Dragon are real, flight qualified hardware which have flown to the ISS, so modifying them for a Mars mission is a realistic option, and does not require vapourware like the SLS or "Orion", which only exist as PowerPoint slides. Once the stack has qualified with the sample return mission, then upgrading to a manned mission becomes a logical extension of what already exists:


Spacex Dragon lander could land on Mars with a mission uner the NASA Discovery Program cost cap

  One of Ames' long standing science interests has been to robotically drill deeply into Mars' subsurface environment (2 meters, or more) to investigate the habitability of that zone for past or extant life. Large, capable Mars landers would ease the problem of landing and operating deep robotic drills. In 2010, an Ames scientist realized that the crew-carrying version of the SpaceX Dragon capsule would possess all the subsystems necessary to perform a soft landing on Earth, and raised the question of whether it could also soft land on Mars. If it could, it might be a candidate platform for a Discovery or Mars Scout class deep drilling mission, for example.

After approximately 3 years studying the engineering problem we have concluded that a minimally modified Dragon capsule (which we call the "Red Dragon") could successfully perform an all-propulsive Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL). We present and discuss the analysis that supports this conclusion. At the upper limits of its capability, a Red Dragon could land approximately 2 metric tons of useful payload, or approximately twice the mass that the MSL Skycrane demonstrated with a useful volume 3 or 4 times as great. This combination of features led us to speculate that it might be possible to land enough mass and volume with a Red Dragon to enable a Mars Sample Return mission in which Mars Orbit Rendezvous is avoided, and the return vehicle comes directly back to Earth. This potentially lowers the risk and cost of a sample return mission. We conclude that such an Earth-Direct sample return architecture is feasible if the Earth Return Vehicle is constructed as a small spacecraft. Larry Lemke will present and discuss the analysis that supports this conclusion.

SpaceX's Dragon capsule and Falcon

Heavy rocket present the possibility of delivering large scientific and human precursor payloads to Mars within the Discovery Program's cost cap. The capsule's design already includes most of the capabilities necessary for Mars missions. Options exist to integrate payloads with the vehicle and for them to access the Mars environment. Current analysis indicates that entry, descent, and landing of the capsule at Mars is feasible, and the capsule's descent technique would lead on a path toward future human-mission landers
Growing food on Mars? Will the soil even be compatible with plants from Earth?  :blotto:


Mars One plan has potentially deadly flaws, scientists say

Volunteers who want to take a one-way trip to Mars and spend the rest of their lives on the Red Planet could expect "the rest of their lives" to be as short as 68 days — if the project blasts off at all, a new study suggests.

The plan for Mars One, a project that aims to establish the first human settlement on Mars by 2025, has potentially deadly and astronomically expensive flaws, according to a feasibility study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


The first run showed that without special nitrogen-generating equipment, the first human would suffocate in 68 days, the researchers reported in a paper presented recently at the International Astronomical Union conference in Toronto. That's indirectly because the habitat would have to vent itself to prevent pressure buildup from oxygen produced by crops in the habitat.


Importing all food from Earth recommended

That suggests Mars One would need to make some changes to its plan, the researchers suggest. They could grow the plants in a unit isolated from the astronauts' living space or import all food from Earth instead of growing it on Mars. The researchers recommend the latter.

Further study suggested that even if all food is imported from Earth, 15 heavy rockets would be needed to carry the first four settlers and their supplies to

Mars, costing $4.5 billion US, not including the costs of development, operations, communications, and power systems.
If food is grown on Mars, the cost would be $6.3 billion.

Perhaps the reason for selecting the people from BC for the crew training has to do with their experience with hydroponic gardening  ;)

Of course in BC, they are using hydroponics for cash rather than food crops, but the basic principles are the same, and can be applied anywhere in the Solar System. (Space may be a very happy and relaxed place indeed!)
The group's numbers are dwindling till the final crew is selected...

I wonder if there's any CAF veterans in the list...especially the one who is a helicopter pilot.


Mars One: 6 Canadians make short list for 1-way trip to Mars

CBC – 7 hours ago

Six Canadians are still in the running to take a one-way trip to Mars starting in 2024 as part of the Mars One project.
The project, which aims to start the first human colony on the Red Planet, unveiled a list of 100 semi-finalists for the mission on Monday. The candidates from around the world, half of them men and half of them women, include Canadians:

Daniel Benjamin Criger, 28, physics PhD candidate from Waterloo, Ont.
Karen Cumming, 53, TV journalist from Burlington, Ont.
Reginald George Foulds, 60, former helicopter pilot from Toronto.
Joanne Hindle, 42, high school teacher from Whistler, B.C.
Andreea Radulescu, 33, an IT analyst from Toronto.
Susan Higashio Weinreich, 42, a Scout leader from Vancouver.

They have a chance  may be among up to 24 people that Mars One plans to launch to Mars in groups of four every two years starting in 2024.

One additional Canadian, Jamie Scott Berdahl, 29, of Whitehorse, made the short list, but resigned from the project when he was notified.

I wonder if the men and women will have the same ROEs as found in Joe Haldeman's The Forever War.
I don't see the ones that are older making the cut. The mission is still 9 years away and that's if there's no delays. So add 9 years to their age. With the toll space and Mars will probably take on the body I don't see them wanting to invest all this time and money on an older person. Unless of course it's a pretty near suicide mission so age may have no bearing. Not saying that those that are older don't have what it takes but realistically it doesn't seem likely that they would be selected.
Foulds, the sixty year old says "With my 22 years of military background as an infantry officer and a helicopter pilot, I am capable of surviving in any conditions."  He doesn't say what military he was in and it could be Pakistan's.  There is more info at https://community.mars-one.com/profile/5df3afd6-f76e-45dc-85f3-ed0e1c33928a
Just on the subject of surviving on Mars;
I finished reading a book a few weeks ago, appropriately titled The Martian that follows a stranded astronaut attempting to survive until rescue arrives in over a year. Very good, and humorous book that anybody following this story should pick up.