Mars One Secures Suppliers for First Private Mars Mission

Mars One Secures Suppliers for First Private Mars Mission

Mars One colony

Mars One's first unmanned mission to Mars will pave the way for future manned missions.

One day we'll have a colony on Mars - that's the goal of Mars One, a not-for-profit foundation working on missions to Mars. If all goes as planned, in 2018 Mars One will launch an unmanned mission designed to demonstrate technology necessary for future manned missions. Mars One has contracted Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace, defense, and security company, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. for the robotic mission.

Lockheed Martin will build the Mars lander, based on the 2007 NASA Phoenix mission spacecraft that the company also designed, built, tested, and operated. The craft will scoop soil samples, extract water from soil, and test solar panels. The lander will also have a camera to record continuous video recordings. SSTL will build the communications satellite, which will relay data and the live video feed from the Mars lander.

In place of government funding, Mars One has been funding the mission through sponsorships, exclusive partnerships, and a future Indiegogo campaign. University students participating in a 2014 contest will be able to propose ideas for the mission, including ideas for experiments or research equipment.

"Landing the first humans on Mars should be everyone's mission and not just the mission of one country or organization," Bas Lansdorp, Mars One's co-founder and CEO, said in a press release. "Our 2018 mission will change the way people view space exploration as they will have the opportunity to participate. They will not only be spectators, but also participants. We think it is important to involve people from all over the world in what we're doing, and crowdfunding and crowdsourcing activities are important means to do that."

Mars One plans to launch the first Mars crew for a Mars landing in 2024 with their arrival on the planet set for 2025. Everything from selection to colonization will be broadcast to build publicity.

Source: Mars One via The Verge

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"Landing the first humans on Mars should be everyone's mission and not just the mission of one country or organization," Bas Lansdorp, Mars One's co-founder and CEO, said in a press release. "Our 2018 mission will change the way people view space exploration as they will have the opportunity to participate. They will not only be spectators, but also participants. We think it is important to involve people from all over the world in what we're doing, and crowdfunding and crowdsourcing activities are important means to do that."

I dunno what this is supposed to mean when they say "everyone" and "of one country". Meaning: who gets dibs on Mars' sites? Who is to say that a corporation's claim to martian soil won't have as much standing as that of some government? Is Earth law even binding over there? Now, assuming everything goes as planned (big if), then this bears mentioning.

I know it may seem like I'm getting ahead of myself, but 2018 is not so far away and at least some of those kinks should be ironed out before then.

Why do I get the feeling that whatever intrepid explorers take up this gauntlet will die horribly?

Not that I expect space pioneering to be a safe job at all, but it may harm people's confidence in future colonisation efforts.

I don't know what the big fuss is. I've been on Mars. It's not that great.

Ambitious, but I have to say that this is either going to atrophy and waste away in people's minds because the amount of money involved (in last estimate by the NASA 'Mars Direct' plan, i.e. ship 'em out and then they'll survive there and make their fuel over a few years to come back) places it in the tens of billions range. The 'Flags and Footprints' (i.e. shoot them out and they do stuff and scoot back 'quickly') mission like the Lunar Landings goes into the HUNDREDS of billions range. I don't think either one is going to be able to be funded by Kickstarter or by any corporation with a few odd billions lying around...and there aren't that many.

Or, the tech will be beyond the capacity for a private enterprise given the current state of the private spaceflight industry.

Or, even if this project DOES manage to get together billions, get an acceptable level of technology (many portions of with are still in prototype or on the design stages in assorted NASA and USAF labs), they'll get gobbled up by any government who has the chance, either a major nation that might add in enough capital and training/expertise to help them along, or some lesser country that has the launch facilities needed who wants to grab a prestige boost.

No matter what happens for the time being and into the foreseeable future, I can't think that private enterprise could bootstrap themselves to Mars for no return on investment beyond nebulous concepts like 'exploration' or 'colonization'. It's to vague and there's no guarantee of return which is the big payoff for corporate sponsorship. Now, a private moon drive for industrial/mining/development purposes, I can see that working for Corporate interests.

God bless these crazy bastards. Success or failure, what they're trying to do should make the whole goddamn world sit up and take notice. We're talking about the human race leaving Earth and setting foot on another planet - reaching for the stars in the most literal sense possible. As a species that's the kind of thing that should unite us all, in spirit at the very least.

Color me nostalgic if you will, but I think back to the "Space race" of the late 50's and 60's, and wish like hell we had something like that, which could capture the imagination of an entire nation again. Sure there was fear and tension - atomic drills in the schools and the whole "red scare" BS, but the fact remains that we had a goal, a purpose. What do we have now? Trillions in debt, millions of eyes too glued to smartphones to even watch where they're walking, and collective mental scarring from some avionic demolition work over a decade ago. I know I'm speaking primarily from a USA perspective, but we need to dream again.

To any non-Americans reading, am I wrong? Is it any different where you are? Or are your countries, your homes, just as complacent?

No no no, these guys have to be made to fail somehow.

We cannot allow the first human presence on the first planet it ever steps foot on be a reality show with Doritos or Mountain Dew or Red Bull logo stickers on everything!

"One small step for man... one GIANT LEAP FOR REDBULL, IT GIVES ME WIIIINGS!"

Only the Dutch could come up with something this crazy :)

Kieve:
God bless these crazy bastards. Success or failure, what they're trying to do should make the whole goddamn world sit up and take notice. We're talking about the human race leaving Earth and setting foot on another planet - reaching for the stars in the most literal sense possible. As a species that's the kind of thing that should unite us all, in spirit at the very least.

Color me nostalgic if you will, but I think back to the "Space race" of the late 50's and 60's, and wish like hell we had something like that, which could capture the imagination of an entire nation again. Sure there was fear and tension - atomic drills in the schools and the whole "red scare" BS, but the fact remains that we had a goal, a purpose. What do we have now? Trillions in debt, millions of eyes too glued to smartphones to even watch where they're walking, and collective mental scarring from some avionic demolition work over a decade ago. I know I'm speaking primarily from a USA perspective, but we need to dream again.

To any non-Americans reading, am I wrong? Is it any different where you are? Or are your countries, your homes, just as complacent?

You sir, should be a preacher. you kinda remind me of that McAvoy speech at the beginning of The Newsroom.

And no, you're not wrong. It's like nobody gives a crap about anything that matters anymore and everyone gets worked up about non-issues.

unabomberman:
I dunno what this is supposed to mean when they say "everyone" and "of one country". Meaning: who gets dibs on Mars' sites? Who is to say that a corporation's claim to martian soil won't have as much standing as that of some government? Is Earth law even binding over there? Now, assuming everything goes as planned (big if), then this bears mentioning.

I know it may seem like I'm getting ahead of myself, but 2018 is not so far away and at least some of those kinks should be ironed out before then.

I think he just wants a Earth Federation instead of seperate countries claiming stakes. As it is currently, international treaties claim that there can be no claim on extrateretrial bodies. meaning if you got to mars you can explait it but so can the next guy and you can do nothing about it.

 

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