It’s bound to happen sooner or later — humans inhabiting Mars. The guys at the space project named Mars One believe that permanent human settlement can be started in about a decade.
Mars One has this timetable:
2016: A communication satellite and a supply mission will be sent to Mars.
2018: A planetary rover will be sent to Mars to locate the best location for the settlement.
2020: Living units, life support units, a rover, and supplies will be sent to Mars to prepare the settlement for human arrival.
September 2022: The first crew (four members) will depart.
April 2023: First human landing on the Red Planet.
2025 (and every two years after): Arrival of a new crew.
Mars One is privately funded and claims that the whole mission can be achieved without using the taxpayers’ money and without involving politics or governments. The people behind the project has talked to several private aerospace companies and found suppliers for the needed components. They estimate that putting the first team on Mars and establishing the colony will cost about $6 billion. For funding, Mars One envisions turning the whole mission into a reality show that millions of people all around the world will watch. Turning it into a media spectacle will enable funds to be generated and for sponsors to be solicited.
Unlike other manned space missions, the astronauts who will be sent on the Mars One mission will live on Mars for the rest of their lives. They will construct the settlement, maintain the systems, and do their research. The settlement will be self-sufficient: the astronauts will have a water supply (through extracting water from the soil and recycling), breathe on oxygen (by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen), and grow their own food (via hydroponics).
All this is very exciting and I’m sure to be one of the people who will be glued to the TV screen when Mars One pulls off this mission. As for becoming an astronaut, living on an alien planet for the rest of my life is very freaky for me so I doubt I will be rushing to get in line once they begin accepting applications for astronauts.
How about you?