Cole Leonard will be one of many people that are selected to go to Mars and establish a human settlement. ( Source: Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News/MCT)
Cole Leonard will be one of the people who are selected to go to Mars and establish a human settlement. The Mars One mission will start training its crew members in 2015. (Source: Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News/MCT)

With all the talk of global warming, overpopulation and massive earthquakes strong enough to destroy the western U.S., who wouldn’t be looking for another, safer place to live besides Earth?

In 2011, the non-profit organization called Mars One was established by Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders from the Netherlands. According to the Mars One website, it will “establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.”

Taylor Tribe, sophomore studying physics, believes that one reason behind wanting to establish a human settlement on Mars is because Earth itself is in bad condition.

“There’s definitely a desire to see if we can live elsewhere, or if we can get rid of these limited resources, overcome that through space,” Tribe said.

According to the Mars One website this plan to create a human settlement on Mars will take 15 years. Last year the selection process for the crew members started. Next year the training for the selected crew will begin.

In 2024 the first set of crew members will leave Earth to go to Mars and will not get there until 2025. The second set of crew members will depart in 2026.

According to Mars One’s website, in-between the training process in 2015 and the first departure in 2024 there will be many preparation mission launches involving cargo and satellites to prepare for when the crew members arrive.

Tribe explained that if he got the chance to participate in this expedition to Mars he would go without a doubt.

“It’s cementing your place in the history books even if it doesn’t go well,” Tribe said.

Although, John Armstrong, WSU professor of physics, has a different opinion about having the chance to go to Mars. He explained that since it’s only a one-way ticket he would rather stay here on Earth. “I like earth too much,” Armstrong said.

Unfortunately Tribe doesn’t see this mission to Mars ending successfully.

“I don’t see in the near future a private-interest group being able to successfully mount a space mission,” Tribe said.

Armstrong believes the success of the Mars One mission depends on who is selected to go.

The people who are selected to go to Mars will need to be “resilient, creative, intelligent and they are going to have to get along with one another really well,” according to Armstrong.

In Tribe’s opinion, for the expedition to be successful the whole world would have to be interested and believe in it. He explained his position, saying it is because of how it is being funded.

According to the Mars One website the expedition will be funded through a reality TV show and advertising revenue. The show will basically be a telecast of the people they actually send to Mars.

In comparing the cost of the expedition and the expedition itself, Tribe believes that it’s worth every penny.

“I think the benefits that you would get out of all the engineering and human ingenuity would more than pay for it over the long term,” Tribe said. “It’s a better way to refine technology than war.”

Armstrong believes that the cost of the trip is actually not that much when you think about it.

“We could go to Mars 10 times next year if we didn’t have a military,” Armstrong said.

This is due to the fact that so much money is spent on the military. Armstrong believes that it just depends on what comes out of the expedition, and if there does turn out to be technological advancements then the expedition could very well be worth it.

“I think it’s extraordinarily dangerous,” Armstrong said. “I think the technology is there, but it is unproven and I think a lot of people will probably die.” Although Armstrong explained if this does turn out to be successful then the possibility of establishing colonies on other planets could increase.

The Mars One website says, “Human settlement of Mars is the next giant leap for humankind. Exploring the solar system as a united humanity will bring us all closer together. Human settlement on Mars will aid our understanding of the origins of the solar system, the origins of life and our place in the universe.”


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