Mars One Monday - October 13, 2014

Mars One Monday rounds up the past week’s reports on the project to send people on a one-way journey to Mars.

As I reported last week, a team of graduate and post-doc students at MIT ran a simulation of the Mars One settlement based on information from the website and interviews on the web. That news spread like wildfire last week. The MIT students post an open letter clarifying their conclusions. They see their work as part of a process of identifying challenges to overcome rather than the damning denunciation the mainstream media presented.

An artist's concept of the Simulation Outpost Alpha. Mars One will build analog habitation modules and greenhouses in a desert environment where the settler candidates, isolated from the rest of the world, will test operations and technology. Credit: Mars One

An artist's concept of the Simulation Outpost Alpha. Mars One will build analog habitation modules and greenhouses in a desert environment where the settler candidates, isolated from the rest of the world, will test operations and technology. Credit: Mars One

The Mars One website added a Simulation Outpost Alpha section that describes the Mars-analog facility it will build. Similar in concept to the Mars Society’s analog station’s, the Alpha facility won’t be an exact duplicate but will let the Mars One astronauts test operations and equipment of its Mars settlement here on Earth.

Mars One CEO Bas Lansdrop appeared on BloombergTV’s “Taking Stock”. Close followers of Mars One won’t learn much new from the interview. Lansdorp did say that the technology needed to deal with the oxygen issue is already in use in hospitals around the world.

"Mars Calling" is a 5&A Film Productions short documentary about the clear-eyed inspiration driving two Australian Mars One candidates.

Two Australian candidates appeared in this short documentary from 5&A Film Productions. Stephen Laurence is an information analyst with a degree in physics. Dianne McGrath, an environmental researcher. Interspersed with street interviews, the two candidates talk about the prospect of death on Mars and missing the family they leave behind on Earth. They balance a spirit of exploration - “what does the sunset on Mars look like?” Laurence asks - with a clear understanding of the hard work and constant vigilance that their lives will require. Both Laurence and McGrath see a Mars settlement as a way of showing people on Earth a more sustainable way to live. “What if we had a society… where you were completely off the grid?” McGrath asks, “I see Mars as a way to make that difference…. We don’t have to keep making the same mistakes we make and putting our planet in peril.”