Cartoons, books, sci-fi movies and even the daily news have been promising a future where humans live on other planets for years. Finding life on other planets has been one of the biggest goals in space exploration for the longest. Not only have we built a ton of fantasy worlds around the idea of life on Mars or even our Moon, but people have looked to life on other planets to solve a lot of our resource problems. If plant life can be grown, then we can feed millions of people or generate a ton of energy, or any one of the myriad of possibilities for creation on a whole new planet. Life on other planets is such a big deal that it would change the way humans lived if space colonies were possible.
Dutch company Mars One is taking their chances and aiming to create a space colony on Mars by 2023. Mars has already proved to be somewhat tenuous fertile ground, but the news that a space colony could exist about ten years from now comes as a shock to many. According to Mars One:
The idea is to first send rovers, which will stake out a good site for a settlement and then build out living units. In 2022, the crew will take a "transit habitat" for the seven-month trip to Mars and settle in to their new home. The intention is that the crew will live on the planet for the rest of their lives. Every two years after that, another group will join the settlement to populate the colony.
Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp has a very modern approach to funding the project: media exposure. "We will finance this mission by creating the biggest media event ever around it." He said in a company video, adding, "Everybody in the world can see everything that will happen in the preparations and on Mars."
That’s right, the project is hoping to draw its funds from the media buzz surrounding it. It’s not the most solid of plans, but plenty of projects have survived on that draw alone. Watching history as it happens is, after all, really appealing. Colonizing Mars may even be a more historic event than the moon landing if things go the way Mars One has planned.
The whole thing relies on four astronauts essentially promising to live the rest of their lives on Mars and slowly increasing that number. That’s a lonely start, but still one that’s made people really eager to see how Mars One’s project will play out, and believe it or not, has potential astronauts interested. Even Mars One’s very first video already had over 232,000 views on YouTube in its first week of existence! Check it out below and see Mars One’s site for more detail about the project, along with updates!