Monday, February 23, 2015

Mars One's Space Cadets.

I vaguely remember reading about Mars One a year or so ago. I recall looking at a few of the applicants' videos, but the project didn't hold my interest long enough for even one blog post. I'm sure I would have forgotten entirely about the
scamproject had I not come across a piece on naming the four Chinese candidates who had made the top 100 list for the one way trip to Mars.
Of these 100, 24 will be chosen to receive special training for the six one-way trips.

A list of the 100 can be found here.

The four Chinese candidates are Li Dapeng and Lin Xiaoxia from China, Sue Ann Pien from the US and Maggie Lieu from the UK.

Li Dapeng, a married man with at least one child, does not have his family's support. According to Li will continue to be part of the project, though he might drop out halfway if his family voices strong disapproval. Of the 100 names on the list, he is the only candidate who does not give English as his language. In the unlikely event that this
scamproject does take off, I don't see him being in the top have to be able to communicate with your fellow Martians, after all.

While over 200,000 people took the project seriously enough to apply for one of the 24 spots, not everyone believes anyone from Mars One will ever visit the red planet. lists a few reasons why Mars One won't happen.

Mars One estimates the cost for the project to be $6 billion. Most outside experts consider that estimate far too low. It's probably a mote point since the company hasn't come close to raising the $6 billion.

"It’s estimated that the company has raised only a few million dollars in funding, and last year an Indiegogo campaign to raise just £260,000 ($400,000) failed".

The company also has no spacecraft in development, or rocket that can launch anything into space.
The company has not shown any research into the effects of microgravity on humans, or how they plan to keep humans safe during their mission to Mars.

Quite probably the candidate who has received the most exposure is the American Sonia Van Meter (AKA Bourbonface) who recently wrote a piece for Time, and whose husband, Jason Standford wrote an article for Texas Monthly last year.

Not everyone leaving a comment on Standford's article was supportive of the wanna-be astronaut.

"If she would abandon you for Mars, she would abandon you for something else if she deemed it sufficiently novel."

"The whole article is about poor beta male Jason and his wife, who studied sociology and works at a political consulting firm, suddenly deciding to drop all her commitments on his lap and run off on a one-way trip to Mars".

"If she had to ask if she was being a bad wife, she already has her answer. It just shows how she didn't bother to think about what she was doing, how her dream will affect her family. Whether she stays or goes at this point in immaterial, she's already shown she's not really committed to being a wife and mother."

I don't want to be seen as beating a dead horse, but I cannot understand how Van Meter made this list. She doesn't appear to have any particular scientific expertise - she is the Managing Director of Stanford Caskey, a national Democratic opposition research firm. Giving her the benefit of the doubt by assuming she does her current job very well, I don't see that as qualifying her for a mission to Mars. Unless, of course, the Mars One group views Democrats as de facto space cadets.

She'll turn 45 in 2024 when the first of the six voyages are supposed to take place......55 in '34 for the final trip. OK, 60 may be the new 30, does Mars One really want middle-aged colonists?

Judging by her photos posted with the Times article , Van Meter doesn't appear to be the athletic type. Will she have the stamina nine or ten years from now to colonize an uninhabitable planet?

It's being reported that the Astronauts Vying for One-Way Ticket to Mars May Be on Reality TV. There are some who believe that Mars One is simply a Truman Show-style scam and that the candidates won't actually be sent to Mars; they'll be tricked into believing they've left Earth while being kept in a Big Brother type environment.

With the money Mars One has available for their project, that seems to be the most logical assessment.

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