Feeds

Mars defends: HUMANS to SEND UFO to Red Planet by 2016

Foundation seeks flingable, concept-proving 'small craft'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Mars One will be actually sending something to the Red Planet in the next three years, according to co-founder Bas Lansdorp.

Mars One, credit Mars One

The foundation, which has the ambitious goal of setting up a human settlement on Mars in 2023 despite not having any spacefaring experience so far, is aiming to send up an unmanned test flight by 2016.

Lansdorp told the International Space Commerce Summit in London that Mars One wants to send an as yet unidentified flying object*, "a small craft that will demonstrate the technologies we need for our human colony" and is looking for partners to help it get the mission off the ground, the BBC reported.

"If you have a reason to get something to Mars, get in touch with me," Lansdorp pitched to conference-goers.

"It could be a country that wants to do an experiment on Martian soil… I know the UK space agency has been interested in getting to Mars in the past. They could put something on our lander and get a payload there.”

"We also have consumer firms that are interested in becoming 'the first brand on Mars'," he claimed.

According to the foundation's website, the demonstration mission is planned for January 2016 and will take a communications satellite with it as well. The foundation says the satellite will have a data bandwidth around four times that of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and will enable 24/7 contact between the two planets.

Lansdorp said that more details on the demo would be released next month, when the lucky winners of the one-way tickets for the trip could also be announced.

Over 200,000 people have applied from all over the world for seats to the Red Planet, from which six groups of four people will eventually be chosen.

The foundation hopes to use that selection process as a way to raise funds for the project through a reality TV competition. Since the new 'nauts/colonists have to be telly-friendly, as well as having some skills and physical aptitude for the hellishly rigorous life they're choosing, they were required to send in videos explaining why they'd be a good choice.

Lansdorp said two of the contestants' videos in particular stood out for him, one in which someone made a Gangnam Style parody called Martian Style and another where a guy video-shopped himself into scenes from Star Wars. He asserted that Mars One's hefty ambition was financially possible given the revenues good TV can bring in.

"We estimate $6bn to get the first four people on Mars and $4bn for every further group that follows." he said. "It's a lot of money. But look at the broadcasting revenue from the Olympics in London - $4bn in three weeks. The world was watching. And I want the whole world to be involved in Mars One."

He also denied that the whole thing was any kind of stunt.

"Exploration is what we humans do. It inspires us to innovate. There are two times when humans really innovate - in exploration and in war. And I don't like war," he said. ®

Bootnote

Just take a moment to really appreciate the fact that if Mars One succeeds, mankind will have started its first offworld colony by building a community on Mars made up entirely of reality TV stars.

* Or, ahem, a UFO (Sub-Ed)

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.