John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

More Than 100,000 People Eager to Die on Mars

Angry_red_planetThe Mars One project, an effort to establish a human colony on Mars by 2023, will have plenty of civilian astronauts from which to choose for its first mission.

Some 100,000 people have applied to be among the first humans to take a one-way trip to the Red Planet, paying a small fee ($38 or so) to be considered. From that pool, a group of 40 will be chosen, with four of those participating in a first mission that Mars One hopes to launch in September 2022 — assuming that it overcomes some rather daunting funding and feasibility issues.

That’s an astonishing level of interest, particularly since Mars One has no plans to return those aspiring colonists to earth. If they’re chosen for the mission, their’s is a one-way ticket to Mars, not a round trip.

The mission is estimated to cost upward of $6 billion, which Mars One hopes to raise by selling off its broadcasting rights, along with some sponsorships. “What we want to do is tell the story to the world — when humans go to Mars, when they settle on Mars and build a new Earth, a new planet,” Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp told CNN. “This is one of the most exciting things that ever happened, and we want to share the story with the entire world.”

Intriguing idea — assuming that there’s ever a story to share.

And right now that’s certainly not a sure thing, given the daunting hurdles that the Mars One project faces, which begin with a high price tag and end with a Martian atmosphere ravaged by solar winds, rife with potentially lethal levels of radiation, and generally inhospitable to human life.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”