Mars One – Dutch Company Plans to Build Human Settlement on Mars in 2023
The perennial quest for life on Mars has elicited more or less substantial efforts from NASA and billionaires like Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, but recently a startup venture has actually outlined a roadmap –spacemap, if you will – to getting there.
The project, dubbed as Mars One, is the brainchild of Dutch businessman and researcher Bas Lansdorp. The plan sounds pretty simple. In an estimated period of 11 years, Mars One expects to send four astronauts to Mars and have them stay there for the rest of their lives. Of course, the entire plan includes making the Red Planet a habitable place to live in and ensuring the accessibility of life essentials like water and oxygen.
Many people have raised questions regarding Lansdorp credibility and experience in space-related efforts; however the entrepreneur/researcher from Netherlands has had some significant background in this field. According to Dr. Richard Ruiterkamp, who has worked with Lansdorp in the past, a good part of Lansdorp’s doctoral thesis was devoted to space research. The same team responsible for the 2007 Young Engineers’ Satellite 2 Project worked with Lansdorp on his research.
In a publicly-available video, Mars One has clearly laid out their goals and step-by-step strategies in establishing human settlement on Mars by 2023. The first four astronauts will have already landed on Mars on that year, with more people coming in to join the first four settlers every two years after 2023. Concrete plans begin as early as 2016, as a satellite will be sent out during that year. Two years later, in 2018, Mars One will send a planetary rover to scout the Martian landscape for the most ideal settlement locations. Another two years, and settlement components, including life support components, will have already arrived on Mars. The first crew of four astronauts will depart on 2022, which is expected to reach Mars seven months later.
The project has earned the approval and support of 1999 Nobel Prize winner Prof. Dr. Gerard Hooft, a theoretical physicist. According to the video, major aerospace companies around the globe have already expressed their support for the venture, with Paragon, MDA Information Systems and Space X purportedly offering to supply the Mars One start-up with the needed equipment for its mission.