back to article Mars One's certain-death space jolly shortlists 1,000 wannabe explorers

The Mars One project has whittled its 200,000 video applicants down to just 1,058, who will compete for a place on the entirely hypothetical one-way trip to the Red Planet to establish a human colony. The chosen few will be taking part in a reality-TV style competition to cut them down to the final 40 candidates hoping to be …

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  1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Surely most of these are Trolls

    I can't see why 200000 people would seriously apply, cutting yourself off from everything you know is a serious decision.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

      200k people is about one person in a thousand if you assume about 1/3 of the world's population have internet connection and are in a sensible age bracket.

      The spirit of adventure is not dead.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Pointless...

        In the best possible case, these idiots will be "the first humans on Mars", until eventually someone notices that the film crew has been there, setting up, for two weeks already. History will record that a certain Pat Smith from the portable loo company was actually the first human on Mars, visiting about 12 hours before the film crew landed. Pointless.

      2. jarjarb

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

        your math is off, it is 1/10,000 with 2 billion people connected to the internet

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

      I tend to agree, these people are volunteering to go into space with others who value the people around them so little that they are prepared to just leave, they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure". Would you trust your survival on someone who thinks like that? Because you will have to rely upon those people for survival.

      1. Mag07

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

        Why not? People have done so for centuries - set out on near suicidal missions to see places they couldn't even know existed - we would not be where we are now, we would not know what's across the big body of water if all humans had no sense of curiosity, some intense desire to search for something more, something that's not evident - and I imagine you'd want to team up with like minded souls - the motives are secondary.

        Truth is, life nowadays can be dull - full of boring routines, often with very little meaning - what is wrong with wanting more then your average office hamster wheel?

        As for death, we will all die, some sooner the others - you don't know what's in store for you, and when. Human life is fragile, every day you wake up and risk loosing it.

        The whole project may be nothing more but a huge farce, but can you be 100% certain? Some say, it's not the destination, rather the journey that counts. Let people dream. Those dreams of the impossible are the biggest driving force in the world.

        We're already living the future, future we thought was rather distant when we were kids - touch screens, holograms, PC's, robots, clones. When you think of the progress we've made in the last half a century, a trip to Mars that some of us may still be able to witness, suddenly doesn't appear to be so utopian.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

          @Mag07

          The vast majority of explorers did their exploration for a easily understood reason - MONEY and/or POWER. They had an idea that there are riches to be found by blazing a way to India or to that valley where the natives where hunting those beautiful beaver pelts or...

          Exploration "just because" is a very recent thing. And even today many still look out for good press coverage, sponsors and a well paid tour of the talk shows.

      2. 1058 minus 1

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

        They have 11 years to sort things out with their nearest and dearest.

        It's a bit like when people left for the New World from Europe, you didn't expect to see those people again. With modern communications Martian settlers won't be nearly isolated the mail might take 40 minutes, but compared to sail ships that's fast.

        I guess you file for divorce before the launch, and hope your crewmates are friendly.

      3. JDX Gold badge

        "they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure""

        Just like Columbus, Livingstone, Fiennes, Aldrin or for that matter any early astronaut or air force test pilot.

        Everyone has to forfeit their life in return for getting to live one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure""

          All those people came back, they didn't eke out their days living off algae on a rock, billions of miles from their loved ones.

          I agree with your second assertion, but that's my point - don't just chuck away your life for romanticised idea of "space adventure". I would do practically anything to go into space, but only if I knew there was a realistic chance of coming back.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "they are also people who are prepared to forfeit their own lives for "an adventure""

            "billions of miles from their loved ones"

            on average 140 million miles.

    3. brain_flakes

      Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

      IIRC it cost money to apply, you'd have to be a rather dedicated troll to pony up real money...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

        > Because you will have to rely upon those people for survival.

        How is the view from olduvai gorge, george?

    4. Vociferous

      Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

      > I can't see why 200000 people would seriously apply, cutting yourself off from everything you know is a serious decision.

      Yes, it is -- but I'd go. Not only might I be part of the making of history, real historybook stuff, but since average life expectancy is probably 20 years lower on Mars I might even cheat my genes out of the agonizing death by Alzheimer's they've got planned for me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Vociferous

        " I might even cheat my genes out of the agonizing death by Alzheimer's they've got planned for me."

        I've read your posts. It's too late for that.

        1. Vociferous

          Re: @ Vociferous

          > I've read your posts. It's too late for that.

          Too late for what? And what do you mean "put your pants on, grandpa?"

    5. LarsG

      Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

      If the applicants are all politicians, estate agents and traffic wardens, I'd give a donation to get them to Mars.

      In fact why not just send them anyway.

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

        @LarsG: How about advertising executives? Oh, wait, thy are needed to run the show here on Earth...

        1. Champ

          Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

          Telephone sanitisers?

      2. PhilMarsOne

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

        Dear LarsG

        As one of the applicants, I'm neither a lawyer, politician, estate agent or traffic warden. Just a scientist with an awareness of the fragility of life on Earth. But if you want to be rid of the crazy visionaries, you can make a useful contribution at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mars-one-first-private-mars-mission-in-2018 and help keep this show on the road.

      3. fearnothing

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls?

        "If the applicants are all politicians, estate agents and traffic wardens, I'd give a donation to get them to Mars."

        The complement actually consists of hairdressers, TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, management consultants and telephone sanitisers.

    6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

      cutting yourself off from everything you know is a serious decision.

      A huge part of the world's population lives in communities not much larger than 40 people, and manages tolerably well "cut off" like that. Our budding martians would be less isolated in many ways, since they could receive digital communications (email, films) from Earth. Granted, aiming for 300-500 people would be a better longterm goal.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

        "A huge part of the world's population lives in communities not much larger than 40 people, and manages tolerably well "cut off" like that."

        Fortunately, they all have free access to breathable air without the use of expensive, breakable technology. Most have access to water too.

        Setting off across the briny deep in the hope there might be landfall somewhere is a little less daunting a prospect than setting off across the airless vacuum for somewhere where you already know you will die if one of many tech items fail. You won't be able to build an escape raft from a local trees while living off fish and coconuts.

    7. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Surely most of these are Trolls

      If I thought for a second I had a chance of making myself fit enough to be useful to the mission I'd have applied in a heartbeat. The urge to explore is quite powerful in some of us...and somethings are entirely worth dying for. My wife feels the same way; we'd have both been quite happy to make the trip, regardless of the risks.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Fuck the ratings

    I'd love to go - if I thought they'd take me. Captain Scarlet - are you serious or totally devoid of imagination?

    Mad bastards maybe but trolls never. Some of us have dreamt of this since Gagarin shat his suit.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Reasons for applying

      Wanting to live on Mars is not a good reason for applying. If you want to do humiliating 'psychological' tests live on television then go for it. Lucky winners can watch the trip delayed until it is cancelled with the rest of us. Unlucky winners can be one of the first corpses to crash into Mars live on TV. I think many of those 200,000 understand the difference between what is advertised and what is available.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reasons for applying

        "Unlucky winners can be one of the first corpses to crash into Mars live on TV..."

        Is it still live TV if everyone on the show is dead?

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Fuck the ratings

      Well, remember that Captain Scarlet has had some unpleasant experiences with Mars, so his antipathy to the idea is certainly understandable.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Fuck the ratings

        Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success. - Ernest Shackleton.

        He got 5k applications. (He also supposedly filed them in 3 cabinets, "Mad", "Hopeless" and "Possible")

        Same advert for a one way trip to Mars? Everybody dies some day, and there are plenty of people who'd give it a go just for the adventure, let along the honour recognition and eternal place in history as being the first expedition to Mars. Some people do get really fed up just working 9-5 Monday to Friday you know!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck the ratings

          Safe return doubtful, vs any return - even of your remains - absolutely assured to be impossible. I think this is the crux of the matter. You may also - probably, assuming the launch/landing goes ok - not die on the same day as everyone else. What if the first dead person is the doctor? The head engineer or some other mission specialist? It's utterly irresponsible.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Fuck the ratings

            > utterly irresponsible

            Not to fear, Obama will ban it.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: Fuck the ratings

              If the doctor died I don't think anybody would be too badly concerned. As a First Aider i'm fairly convinced that a doctor couldn't do much about anything enroute that anybody else couldn't do under direction via radio link apart from keeping meticulous notes about how other people die that might advance human knowledge. I mean, your hardly going to have a doctor doing surgery...

              Chief engineer might be moderately more serious, but at the end of the day your hardly reliant on Scotty saving the day when the captain demands more power from the warp drives.

              Why bother returning your remains? What are people going to do with them if they did have them back, burn them and then spread the ash somewhere? Might as well just leave them on Mar, they might make a museum exhibit one day.

              And if somebody who wanted to make a one way trip to Mars is irresponsible, why? What are they neglecting their responsibilities to?

              1. Jonathan Richards 1

                Operating remotely...

                > under direction via radio link

                Umm, you might not want to rely on that too much. Depending on their relative positions as they orbit, the Earth and Mars are between four and twenty-four light-minutes apart. In the time it would take to get a piece of urgent medical advice, the patient could have popped his clogs, been dehydrated for his water content a la Fremen, and consigned to the airlock.

                1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

                  Re: Jonathan Richards 1

                  I'd strongly recommend not bothering to argue any points here. It's rather obvious people have their beliefs and wish to stick to them. You know it's a real problem when someone insists it's their right to do it even though it results in harm.

                  How much more so when it results in certain death? "I'm the first to drink arsenic, think of the experience and fame and honor", or "I'm the first to skydive into concert wearing only socks" would get the same result.

                  Mars is amazing. It's a great rock. But putting 2 feet on it accomplishes nothing if those 2 feet are certain to die in the process. All such arguments against it vanish if there is some attempt at making a return craft (AKA the moon landings, ISS and others).

                  1. Swarthy Silver badge
                    Angel

                    Re: Jonathan Richards 1

                    If I were to go to Mars and arrive dead, than my remains will be a good beginning to establishing a microbial colony on Mars.

                    Please note: I don't think I've read anywhere that Mars One is about establishing a human colony on Mars, just a colony. All those millions of bacteria in each of us, with all that lovely food & water that we contain...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck the ratings

      Gagarin got to come back though.

  3. Darryl

    Big Brother Mars

    At least the weekly evictions should be interesting...

  4. Turtle

    Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

    "The next stages in the selection process will include rigorous simulations and physical and emotional testing of the candidates, according to Norbert Kraft, the foundation's chief medical officer and homeopath, who requested that we address him as 'Bones'."

    1. Darryl

      Re: Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

      Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor not an astronaut!

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

      "Norbert Kraft, the foundation's chief medical officer and homeopath"

      Homeopath!?! Mysteriously, I've suddenly lost all interest in the mission.

      You'd think that my dilution of enthusiasm would make me keener, but nope, I no longer give a damn.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. 1058 minus 1

        Re: Medical Officer. *Chief* Medical Officer.

        Not a homeopath! He has worked for the Russian Space Agency, the Japanese Space Agency and NASA. New age types these people are not.

        I think you may have him confused with someone else.

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    In a heart beat

    I would go but not with three wannabe spacehyped BigBrother celebs.

    The size of the projected craft at 5 metres diameter is laughable given the problems with radiation shielding and the total volume will in no way provide for enough tools and materiel to enable them to survive for any appreciable length of time There are also the problems of prolonged weightlesness not only on the muscles but on the bones. There are exercises designed to help mitigate those problems but ultimately the crew are going to be permanently on a planet with only 38% of Earth's gravity there must be means to simulate 1G in order to maintain normal body function. Admittedly the gravitational strain in general will be less but there is still the question of moving mass when constructing or working which will still have the same inertia.

    I probably won't live to see most of the problems addressed but if they were I would without a doubt be up for it.

    Still for the Mars 1 crew at least they will go down in history just not too sure what as.

    I guess being famous, even if it is for being a twat is too difficult to pass over for some people.

    1. peter_dtm
      Alien

      Re: In a heart beat 1G ?

      Why do they need to retain 1G capability ???

      It's a ONE WAY JOURNEY

      they won't be coming back down the gravity well .....

      they just need to adapt (sucesfully) to their new home's version of 1G - the results of that particular experiment are probably enough on it's own to justify the entire cost

    2. brain_flakes

      Re: In a heart beat

      > but ultimately the crew are going to be permanently on a planet with only 38% of Earth's gravity there must be means to simulate 1G in order to maintain normal body function

      There apparently hasn't been any research on the effect of low (such as Mars') gravity on the human body, so we have no idea how it affects the body vs microgravity (weightlessness). For all we know the human body may be able to sustain itself indefinitely at 0.4g with little or no ill effect.

      1. Vociferous

        Re: In a heart beat

        > There apparently hasn't been any research on the effect of low (such as Mars') gravity on the human body

        Yes, because there's no way to do such research. Earth has 1G, space has zero G, to get anything else for long periods of time you need to go to another planet. That is one of the big questions wrt colonizing Mars: is 0.4G strong enough for permanent human residence? We wont know until someone's tried.

        Incidentally, Luna's gravity is 0.4x that of Mars (1/17th of Earth's). In case anyone was thinking of settling there.

  6. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    "Certain death"...

    "Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." - Elbert Hubbard

  7. Klek
    Thumb Down

    :::Horse::>Cart

    1058 selected applicants, rigorious ment/phys/emot testing (..for broadcast also?) to trim the numbers some more.... however....

    No plans or construction schedule for a spacecraft that will take years to even build once begun (probably in orbit, yeh?), and only a robotic probe being sent out first in.... 4 years from now.

    How old will these fools actually be when "their" spacecraft (specially built with loads of cameras and digital storage) is finally finished? (Assuming that even magnetic-field radiation shielding is perfected by then..).

    Clearly, they are idiots if they are going to sign up for this without any ship even close to *begun*.

    We'll probably get a season of "Mars One Simulator" on the telly where Bas & Co. pack two dozen rubes into a newly renovated "BioSphere 3"/Mars Spacecraft Mock-up out in the Arizona desert and force them to live inside it for half a year -on camera, natch- before a few of them crack and either kill someone or escape the confines, only with lifelong psychological trauma.

    Colosseum Televiso Psychologica ?

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: :::Horse::>Cart

      "We'll probably get a season of "Mars One Simulator"

      But would the participants know that it was only a simulator*? And even if they did know would we be told that they didn't**?

      *Assuming they select for gullibility things that might be obvious to us may not occur to the so-called cosmonauts.

      ** TV audiences self-select for gullibility.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: :::Horse::>Cart

        "We'll probably get a season of "Mars One Simulator"

        But would the participants know that it was only a simulator*? And even if they did know would we be told that they didn't**?

        That's been done already in the UK ... though its not unknown for the US to come up with "new ideas" several years after the rest of the world!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: :::Horse::>Cart

        "But would the participants know that it was only a simulator*?"

        They might get wise after one of them went 'round the bend, ran outside, and tore his helmet off, only to not die in agony...

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: :::Horse::>Cart

          The "dying in agony" can be arranged ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: :::Horse::>Cart

      1058 selected applicants, rigorious ment/phys/emot testing (..for broadcast also?) to trim the numbers some more

      ....

      We'll probably get a season of "Mars One Simulator" on the telly

      More like Takeshi's Castle in Space

    3. MrXavia

      Re: :::Horse::>Cart

      I think its more practical than many think...

      Bigalow can build the space station and primary habitat, they have the tech proven...

      The Dragon capsule can get them into space.. and there are plenty of big boosters to launch stuff into space...

      In orbit docking is a proven tech...

      The hardest part will be surviving on mars, space suits... etc...

    4. mmeier

      Re: :::Horse::>Cart

      You are wrong. Construction of Capricorn 1 has already started...

    5. Felix Krull

      Re: :::Horse::>Cart

      Clearly, they are idiots if they are going to sign up for this without any ship even close to *begun*.

      I dunno. They get their 15 minutes of fame and they don't risk anything since they'll never get off the ground.

  8. Brian Miller

    Sense of adventure, sense of reality

    "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. —Ernest Shackleton."

    Shackleton was honest and had a sense of reality. For this program, neither the organizers nor the hopeful participants have any sense of reality.

    "People wanted for fatal journey. No wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete boredom. Constant danger. No safe return. Honour and recognition as a footnote in television history in case of non-fatal landing."

    I'm guessing that we should wait to launch humans to Mars after we've built a decent space elevator.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Sense of adventure, sense of reality

      I'm guessing that we should wait to launch humans to Mars after we've built a decent space elevator.

      Right. That pipe dream of fantasy again.

      It's gonna happen if it's cheap. The way things are going it's never gonna be cheap.

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Sense of adventure, sense of reality

      Brian Miller "...a decent space elevator..."

      Simple. Stop with all the fiddly remote power laser / microwave beams daft nonsense; just use a pulley at the top end, loop the cable over and keep the motor (and energy supply) on the ground. Easy peasy.

      At this point the idiots retort, "Oh, but a pulley and twice the cable is so difficult." ...Yeah, cause every other aspect of a space elevator is so straightforward. A pulley at the top end is an inconceivable technological leap.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    Arriving in 5...4...3...2...1...0

    A plethora of scams involving 'life assurance' and 'please help me fund my trip to mars. If you do I'll will you a gazillion $$$$ tax free'.

    etc

    etc

    etc

    Then there will be the advertisers queeuing up 10 deep to sponsor people to die.

    Sigh. Sad but probably inevitable in these times.

    Mines the one with 'I'm not going to Mars' on the back.

  10. David 45

    Make it compulsary.

    I can think of a few names that really ought to go........David Cameron and Theresa May to name but two.

    1. Martin
      Thumb Up

      Re: Make it compulsory.

      Michael Gove ahead of both of those.

      Also Nick "Broken Promises" Clegg.

      Oh, and Tony Blair - for winning a landslide Labour victory and then spectacularly letting everyone who voted for him down.

      Actually, why not just send all the cabinet members of all UK governments of the last twenty years or so? God knows they've completely failed to do their normal jobs properly.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Make it compulsory. @Martin

        Sir, are you trying to get Earth invaded and taken over by aliens?

        There's no way they'd stand by idly while we assault the cosmos with WMIs*

        * Weapons of Mass Idiocy.

      2. Turtle
        Meh

        @Martin

        "Oh, and Tony Blair - for winning a landslide Labour victory and then spectacularly letting everyone who voted for him down. Actually, why not just send all the cabinet members of all UK governments of the last twenty years or so? God knows they've completely failed to do their normal jobs properly."

        As if they work for the voters.

        You, as a voter, might not be happy with the job they did but what about the people for whom they actually work - are they pleased?

      3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Make it compulsory.

        "Michael Gove"

        You're thinking of sending it back?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Make it compulsary.

      David Cameron

      Theresa May

      Michael Gove

      Nick Clegg

      Tony Blair

      No, no, NO, NO!

      I bet many thought they had dodged a bullet when they waved goodbye and good riddance to those who set sail for America. A few hundred years later...

  11. cordwainer 1
    Paris Hilton

    Unfortunately, those who like making videos of themselves...

    Are likely the worst candidates for a trip of this kind. The extroverts who thrive on social interaction, and the narcissists who make up the bulk of those who appear on reality shows, are particularly ill suited to long periods of isolation and solitude, much less the discipline required to complete the same - often tedious - essential tasks every single day.

    Fortunately, this appears to be more of a money-making entertainment stunt. Any "winners" would probably run away, screaming, if a genuine mission ever materialized. In the meantime, they still get the 15 minutes they so desperately desire, without having to do the actual work. Pity.

    Paris, because her video would no doubt be extremely....er....well, extremely.

  12. frank ly

    This got me thinking

    " ... the foundation hasn't managed to ..."

    Maybe the Second Foundation will do things better. I hope so.

    1. Vector

      Re: This got me thinking

      "Maybe the Second Foundation will do things better. I hope so."

      They are monitoring the situation and making adjustments as neccesary. Hopefully, no "Mule" will show up to toss a spanner in...

      1. Mpeler
        Coat

        Re: This got me thinking

        To paraphrase Salvor Hardin (who was a Violist)(Life's a Bratsche...),

        Violins is (are) the last refuge of the incompetent....

  13. Camilla Smythe

    Become Human Ambassadors on Mars...

    Eh..

    Does this mean there are Mars people with whom we need to be ambassadorial?

  14. Schick
    Unhappy

    What is wrong with you people ??

    I am disturbingly distressed and seriously something ..."shocked" - I think... that so many of you seem to be taking this for real. There is no Mars 1 and there never will be a Mars 1. (Although one must suppose that someone is hoping to make some trips to the bank.)

    The only thing worse than clicking on this particular El Reg link is then clicking on the "Comments". As for actually posting! Good Lord. How bored with your mundane existence you must all be.

    Infinitely superior I feel, having many better things to do. (E.g.: Pluck armpits)

    ...Wish I knew how to do italics and bold... could look it up I suppose... but can't be bothered.

    1. Beau
      Holmes

      Re: What is wrong with you people ??

      "...Wish I knew how to do italics and bold..."

      Ha, Watson, it is clear schich has never actually learned to do basic HTML.

      I therefor deduce he originally came from a small settlement in outer Mongolia, and is in fact the Yacks milk thief we have been searching for!

    2. Vociferous

      Re: What is wrong with you people ??

      > There is no Mars 1

      Of course there isn't. This is never going to get off the ground. I think pretty much everyone understands that, but are applying on the off chance that they DO get off the ground.

      I may get to see humans on Mars in my lifetime, but I doubt I'll get to see a permanent colony there. I hope I'm wrong, but it would really surprise me if the first Mars colony isn't 75-100 years in the future.

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: What is wrong with you people ??

      "The only thing worse than clicking on this particular El Reg link is then clicking on the "Comments". As for actually posting! Good Lord. How bored with your mundane existence you must all be."

      I don't have a maid who will do my laundry and other mundane house chores, so here I sit.

      What's your excuse?

  15. Hud Dunlap
    Coat

    Where is Chay Blyth when you need him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chay_Blyth

    1. Mpeler
      Alien

      Re: Where is Chay Blyth when you need him.

      Where's AManFromMars when you need him (her, it, whatever)?

  16. brain_flakes
    Facepalm

    Certain-death? I'd say there's an almost zero chance of anyone dying...

    ... because it's never going to leave the ground! It's either a blatant scam to separate gullible dreamers from their ~$40 application fee, or an even bigger, more elaborate reality TV hoax than Channel 4's Space Cadets.

    Actually imagine that, contestants spend 6 months on their "space voyage" (on a ship that conveniently has "gravity generators" or 1g constant acceleration or some other excuse to why they aren't weightless), open the hatch and get ready to step out on to the martian surface only to instead step out in front of a live TV studio audience and find they've been the butt of the world's biggest reality-TV joke!

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Certain-death? I'd say there's an almost zero chance of anyone dying...

      1G constant acceleration would not give you 6 months journey time. A rotating capsule could help but would be complicated. So I'd go with "magic generators". It's not like those caught up in the illusion will not fall for it. It's quite interesting the lengths you can go to if you "hook" a target, they will believe anything.

  17. Vociferous

    Quibble

    > the fact that no-one knows how to get people to Mars without killing them long before they get there. No spacecraft currently exists that could do the job and many of the technologies needed, like a way to sufficiently block space radiation

    That is not true. The radiation from a round trip to Mars trip would be about equal to the lifetime radiation exposure allowed for NASA's astronauts, ie that astronaut would not be allowed to fly any more space missions -- but would still be completely survivable (I can't remember if that exposure translates to a 1% or a 5% increase in lifetime cancer risk).

    A one-way trip would of course get half of that. See e.g. this article.

    If, however, the astronauts were unlucky and there was a major solar eruption during their flight, THEN they might get lethal radiation levels, unless the ship had an shielded "safe room" they could hide in.

    (EDIT: I've now checked, and the radiation exposure is a little less than half of that which is estimated to increase lifetime cancer risk by 5%.)

  18. Interceptor

    Line the walls of the starcraft with living organisms! This will protect them from the great Pain of Space, and the Habermen can be euthanized, and Scanners will not live in vain.

    1. Zmodem

      their turds with smilie faces they will all be having nightmares about being surrounded by

  19. DaveyG

    Christopher Columbus

    I often think that Nasa go over the top about everything, if Christopher Columbus was to build all his ships in clean rooms at 10 times the cost he would of never have made it to America. Its time humans stopped being such wingers and get their asses into space, there is plenty of good technology out there to stop radiation.

    1. Turtle

      @DaveyG

      "Its time humans stopped being such wingers and get their asses into space, there is plenty of good technology out there to stop radiation."

      And when they go, you'll be there, cheering 'em on!

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: @DaveyG

        The vast majority of the radiation can be stopped using good old fashioned water.

        Getting enough of it into orbit to be usable as a shield is an exercise for the reader (hint, it may be easier to snag a passing comet)

  20. Number6

    Write-In

    when it comes to the public vote, are we allowed a write-in ballot to nominate people for a one-way trip to Mars?

  21. mickey mouse the fith

    Message from our sponsor: Erm, there all dead

    Theres no way they are going to raise enough money for all the mars infrastructure even if they manage to scrape together enough for a spacecraft to transport the ill prepared, narccisistic numpties to the planets surface.

    For starters they would need a small reactor for reliable power (good luck sourcing that and getting permission to launch it), excavation equipment to create a radiation hardened shelter and many, many tons of building materials, life support systems and means of getting about on the surface. That equates to a shitload of launches, carrying mostly untested equipment, all succesfully landing on target intact (i think half of all mars missions have failed in some way thus far).

    Na, this is a scam, they cant do it in the timeframe with the budget they have. The supply launches alone would cost millions each time, and how long will it be before tv viewers get bored watching hipster astronauts doing mundane tasks day after day?

    Mind you, it would be amusing if they started dying or fighting each other, better than Crossroads that would be....

  22. loneranger

    600,000 people supposedly have already visited or live on Mars

    According to Andrew Basiago, he claims that the CIA hired him and other teenagers (even Barack Obama when he was a teenager) to teleport to Mars when he was a teenager. When he arrived (he says), Mars was warm enough to walk around on with a T-shirt. Plus, there are ravenous creatures wandering around on the surface (he says).

    He also claims that up to 600,000 people have either visited Mars or currently live there (I suppose under the surface), using the CIA's teleporting technology, which they created using the research of Nikola Tesla (confiscated by the US government after his death).

    Now I'm not claiming that any of this is true, so don't go saying that I'm nuts, but I think in the context of this article, it doesn't hurt to mention that this is out there.

    Interestingly, there are several different people today who confirm seeing Obama on Mars as a teenager, who were also in the same CIA program. Take it or leave it, I don't care.

    All this stuff can be found on Google and youtube.

    1. Adam Foxton

      Re: 600,000 people supposedly have already visited or live on Mars

      This would be about the time in his life where he started dropping acid, right?

      According to a quick Google this is a guy who was accompanied on his journeys through time and space by a talking dog, constantly followed by a man from the CIA. That's not the best description of Stewie Griffin I've ever heard!

      If nothing else, Mars is that cold only the most genetically-pure Geordie could walk around in just a t-shirt.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: 600,000 people supposedly have already visited or live on Mars

      "He also claims that up to 600,000 people have either visited Mars or currently live there"

      I don't suppose that guy in charge of the programme is called Whittacker by any chance?

      If so, I need to drop an email to Geoff Morgan pronto.

    3. brain_flakes

      Re: 600,000 people supposedly have already visited or live on Mars

      > Interestingly, there are several different people today who confirm seeing Obama on Mars as a teenager, who were also in the same CIA program. Take it or leave it, I don't care.

      We should demand Obama's earth certificate to prove he's not a martian!

  23. smartypants

    Sponsorship and radiation solution in one...

    A 300 metre long Mars bar, the chocolate layer alone being 10 metres thick. That should sort out the radiation, and it will be the sugary snack industry's chance to finally invest in interplanetary advertising.

    Astronauts could survive by gnawing through the soft filling, possible even once the their teeth have dropped out.

    The landing would require those remaining astronauts to move to the rear (assuming they could move at all after 6 months eating Mars bar filling) so that the sugary spaceship could splat safely into the red planet, the caramel layer absorbing the impact.

    I see no technical problems at all.

    1. Mpeler
      Pint

      Re: Sponsorship and radiation solution in one...

      Major problem is how to batter and deep-fry the Mars bar...

      Scotty: Aye Cap'n, the Friteuse cannae take it na more...

      (have NO clue how that [Friteuse] would sound from a Scot....but a true engineer,

      like Scott, will figure it oot)....

  24. Whiznot

    There is no pot on Mars. Count me out.

  25. Turtle

    Ambassadorial Train Wreck

    "However, the challenge with 200,000 applicants is separating those who we feel are physically and mentally adept to become human ambassadors on Mars from those who are obviously taking the mission much less seriously."

    Hint: Anyone willing to enlist in this program lacks the mental competence and psychological stability needed to actually accomplish the mission.

    On the other hand, having such people as astronauts will insure that the mission will quickly degenerate into a headline-hogging, attention-grabbing, ratings-topping train wreck - if you will permit me to mix metaphors.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's sad

    to see humans so hopelessly gullible, given that this scam hasn't been buried soon after it was announced.

  27. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "In the mean time, Mars One will be focusing on its first mission, expected in 2018, when a Lockheed Martin-built unmanned lander and a Surrey Satellite Technology comms sat will set off for the Red Planet."

    Right, so that's the A Ark sorted. What's next?

  28. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    I'm calling it now...

    The entire thing is going to be a Big Brother like "trick" and not a real flight. They'll choose the 2-8 most likely "to fall for it", and spin an elaborate mission, which ends up in a lab somewhere where they film people and then give the the surprise "your home" at the end.

    The ultimate candid camera?

    1. brain_flakes

      Re: I'm calling it now...

      It worked for Channel 4 (see Space Cadets TV Series)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. radiation

    MgB2 at cryogenic temperatures works fine.

    If you want to get technical an outer MgB2 shield and an inner Y123, with 2" water on the crew facing side would work just fine and block between 70 and 95% of the dangerous multi DNA strand breaking high energy gammas.

    In the words of Arnie, "Get your arse to Mars" already.

    Also relevant, if they gave BTEDan 50B$ already and asked him nicely to have it ready for the 2018 launch window.. :-)

  30. Mpeler
    Black Helicopters

    Mostly Harmless

    Golgafrinchan Ark B, preparing for boarding......

  31. ecofeco Silver badge

    What it will take?

    Is this some kind of rocket surgery trick question?

    Massive amounts of money, of course! Just for the studies and testing, mind you.

    Ah showbiz. Gotta love it.

  32. tony2heads
    Devil

    The 'die in agony' outside the simulator could also be arranged for the benefit of viewers

  33. jarjarb

    All of the technologies already exist. The author of this post just hasn't done research. For example, one of the best insulators against radiation is water. A few feet of water will get you to Mars. That is why MarsOne is working with Bigelow aerospace to use their modules as part of the transport system. One of these modules is due to be installed on the ISS in coming years.

  34. Mussie (Ed)

    A family and type 2 from years of coke related pancreas abuse stopped me.

    If I was healthy and had no family I would have applied in a heartbeat

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