Mars One Project: 100 Candidates! Modern day Columbus?

For those that don’t know, the Mars One Project was founded by Bas Lansdrop and Arno Wielders. Their plan is to colonize Mars in the upcoming decade. The colonist would go on a way trip to Mars with the intent of never coming back.

About a month ago, the Mars One Project cut their list down of 202,586 potential colonist to 100. The candidates come from all walks of life, different levels of education, and technical skills. Something that jumps out right at you is the level of education. Normally, people venturing into space would need a science degree, and be the cream of the crop. Instead, Lansdrop did not set up strict guidelines to capture the allure of being a colonist. Just like in the ole Christopher Columbus days.

You can meet the 100 here:

I really want to see this project fulfill what it has set out to do, but I can’t shake this feeling of it’s never going to happen, or the mission would go horribly wrong resulting the deaths of all the colonist. The main issue that’s facing this project is the funding. Mars One has secured contracts with NASA, Space x, etc. but it’s going to need way more money. One way Lanstrop will raise money is to make a reality TV series. You will get the see the candidates’ train, prep for Mars, leave to Mars, and the colonist living on Mars. I believe this is a great way to get the world interested in space exploration, and maybe international partnerships will be created to pursue space related goals. We can experience their great triumph, or to see if they result to cannibalism if something happens to their food supply. Some may say this is a step mankind must take, and sooner the better. Just like a bird flying out of its nest, we must do the same to continue to evolve as a species.

For the record, this is nothing compared to Columbus. I kind of cringe when people try to pitch this as such. Yes. We’re going to a land that “no one” else has reached to colonize it, but Columbus had the same resources in America. These colonist won’t have that. The only thing that’s going to be familiar is the rocks, ice, and dirt. It would take up to six to eight months for Lanstrop to send supplies to Earth to Mars. I love how ambitious this project is, but maybe it’s best to wait until scientist finish the Nuclear Fusion Rocket, as it would be able to propel space craft fast enough to reach Mars from Earth in only one month.

My prediction? At the final day of training. A massive ceremony is going to be held. A dark figure is going to walk out to the middle of the stadium, and he’s going to speak into the mic…… “Hi. I’m Ashton Kutcher, and you’ve just been punk’d!”

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America’s Secret Space Plane X-37b Return to Earth.

The Boeing X-37b is an American reusable unmanned spacecraft operated by the US Air force. USAF says the spacecraft is intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies. As of 2013, it holds the world record for being the smallest robotic, unmanned space-plane. X-37b is returning to Earth after a 22 month mission orbiting the Earth. A lot of speculation comes the secrecy of the space plane mission. The theories out there are countless! Some say it’s for spy satellites to catch images of political hot spots, space weaponry that’s being tested. What ever the reason may be the Air Force maintains that’s its solely a test vehicle. Their primary mission statement is “To test spacecraft technologies for Americas’s future in Space and operating experiments which can be returned to and examined on Earth.” Some things to notice about the space craft that it only have a payload size of about a pick up truck, we know Boeing built the planes, but because it is a classified project we do not know the cost. The project itself is not really a secret. We know when the plane take off and when it lands, but what happens in between and what is it carrying in the payload if any is what all the speculation is about.

My thoughts: I think many people misunderstand the X-37B concept. I have seen many X-planes at the Air Force Museum. They are generally weird looking and impractical for any “real world” operational mission. To argue the X-37 is not a good B-37 or A-37 misses the point that this space X-plane is for technology demonstration. In the next 20 years we may very well see a reusable 2-stage or Single-Stage orbiter that traces its techno roots to the X-37B.

What about you guys? Is the X-37b is everything the government say it is or does it have greater mission?