Mars One has captured the imagination of numerous people from around the world fascinated with the prospect of pioneering a new chapter in space exploration. (See interior habitat image above.) It reported that 200,000 people submitted applications to be candidates for the first Mars crews. Mars One has shortlisted 100—50 males and 50 females to advance to the selection stage.
But the project has been shrouded in controversy. Last week a former NASA researcher, Joseph Roche, now of Trinity College and who became one of the 100 financials to live on the Mars settlement, expressed concerns over how contenders earned their spot, claiming they paid for it. Lansdorp has responded in a video that these claims are untrue and his project is not a scam.
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NASA experts point out the many challenges such an undertaking will face, questioning if this project can ever get off the ground in the estimated time frame. This kind of scenario would have humans—for the first time—extend spaceflight to months or years. How travelers will fare under these conditions is anyone's guess.
Another unknown is how a small number of humans will be able to exist on the harsh desolate Red planet—a fragile oasis of water and oxygen on an inhospitable Martian soil, where temperatures average around minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Those astronauts will be subject to whims of solar and dust storms, meteorite strikes and physical injury. Given the limited medical resources, this is a very dangerous endeavor.