Mars Colony

Mars+Colony

Photo by D Mitriy

Baylee Vogler, Staff Writer

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning to send astronauts to Mars with the purpose of exploring and colonizing the planet by the 2030’s. Before you grab a pen to sign yourself up, you might want to take a closer look at what’s in store for the volunteers.

On the website called Mars One, it gives a detailed timeline that is being followed to ensure that we can safely send astronauts to Mars by 2031. There is a lot of preparation that goes into a mission like this, but unlike previous missions, no new technological advancements must be made to complete it. This means that technically, we already have all the technology needed to create a settlement on Mars, it is just a matter of getting everything together. In fact, on the website, it said, “Establishing a permanent settlement is very complex, but it is far less complex and requires much less infrastructure sent to Mars than return missions.”

That’s right. The mission to Mars is a permanent mission. There will be no way to return to Earth once the astronauts land on the red planet, meaning when they sign up to go to Mars, they are also signing up to live there for the rest of their life. You might think that this would be a deal breaker for most people. Surprisingly, there are still a lot of candidates who would like to be a part of this mission to Mars. CNN did a special feature called Meet candidates for one-way trip to Mars where they interviewed some of the finalists to travel to Mars. In the video, it said that “initially more than 200,000 applied for the Mars One astronaut selection program from all over the world.” This number is now down to 100 finalists as they continue to evaluate them based on their skills and a series of tests.

However, there are still a lot of preparation that needs to take place in order for the chosen astronauts to survive on the red planet. Mars One also said that “Before carefully selected and trained crews will depart to Mars, several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement waiting for the first astronauts to arrive.” Unlike in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, this settlement will not consist of huge bubbles filled with breathable air connected by tunnels for transportation. This settlement will be made up of several different units all with a different purpose. According to the Mars One website, there will be two units the astronauts will live in, two units for life support and a unit strictly for storing supplies. There will also be a couple rovers that the astronauts can use to explore the landscape and geography of the planet.

There are going to be a lot of challenges during this mission to Mars, but the hopes of the Mars One mission is that this, “will be humankind’s first step to becoming a multiplanetary species.” The possibilities are endless as we continue to explore the solar system and push the limits of what we believe we can do.