The Mars One project
How do you feel about Mars One? Is it doable, not doable, realistic, unrealistic, a hoax, a scam, or a serious project?
The project has gotten a good amount of criticism.
For starters, the project is expected to cost 6 billion dollars, but NASA would need 100 billion dollars for a project like this (although this would include provisions for the astronauts to return to earth).
It is also feared that the reality show associated with the program could hurt it. What if interest fades and the money runs dry?
Some say that the project is not credible and consider it a scam.
Former German astronaut Urich Walter estimates that there is only a 30% chance that the colonists would reach Mars alive, and if they would reach Mars alive, there would only be a 20% chance that they would still be alive 3 months later.
Buzz Aldrin has expressed his doubts about Mars One as well.
The whole project does seem to get a good amount of criticism.
I hate to put my personal opinion here since I honestly don't know enough about it to judge, but overall I feel that a Mars project should come from the NASA corner. They have studied space forever, they have made many preparations, and they are the most professional organization when it comes to space.
What is your opinion of Mars One?
Regarding the cost, it is generally agreed upon that if we want to be serious about space colonization, the cost of launches and missions needs to come down drastically, and it will.
The cost isn't as worrisome as the trip itself. So much can go wrong during launch, during landing, and any time in-between. They are not even 100% sure what to expect when entering the atmosphere of Mars. They plan on testing the rocket unmanned several times before putting humans in it, but still..
The biggest problem, according to experts, will be supplies, and re-supplying. Getting things to Mars takes months. If they need repairs, which they will, and they don't have spare parts, they'll have a serious problem.
But, before we even worry about that, landing on Mars could be a problem too, due to the different atmosphere. With our current techniques, we'd be able to land about a metric ton on Mars. That's not enough and they will need to find different landing techniques f they want to survive the landing itself.
Another issue they will have to deal with is the increased radiation during the trip. Not only does that increase cancer risk, it can also affect the brain,
I've always called Mars One a long shot. I think they underestimated the costs and underestimated how easy it would be to raise the money. And maybe a lot of the problem is that Bas Lansdorp thinks like a businessman and not an engineer. He had to bring an actual engineer along for a debate he did with the MIT people who analyzed the project and said it wasn't very feasible a couple of years along.
Will we colonize Mars? Probably. Will it be Mars One? Probably not.
I've always kind of thought that Mars One's primary success was getting people talking about the possibility of colonizing Mars. They sort of had me grinning with their idea of funding it by selling the media rights. That actually wasn't a terrible idea when you consider that there are Fortune 500 companies with billion-dollar-plus marketing budgets who might have been willing to buy advertising space with that kind of "reality show". They're still going and in fact recently raised about six million Euros with an IPO. I also rather doubt that Mars One would have ever kept to their original timeline no matter what they did. But at least they were able to publicize the idea of creating a settlement on Mars.
I think I'll eat my shoes if the Mars One project really sends a bunch of people to Mars. No doubt they have the best of intentions, but is it really doable with the budget they have and especially the time frame they propose? I think not.
The budget alone seems almost silly, if you ask me. It is not enough for a project of this magnitude. We know how much it costs to send someone into space. That said, I do think that sending someone into space is going to become less expensive in the near future, but even then, the Mars One project won't have raised enough money to accomplish what they want to do.
Think of the materials needed to build a colony on Mars. You can't just step out of your rocket and pitch your tent. Then there is the cost of space suits, as mentioned elsewhere on this forum, space suits are extremely expensive.
Add it all up, and you just know that they won't have the kind of budget that is needed to make this happen.
Kudos to them for starting this project, however. And, who knows, maybe they do succeed but I honestly doubt it.