Mars One Monday - October 6, 2014

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

It’s interesting how Mars One doesn’t have to do anything and yet the media generates story after story.

Italian news magazine L’Espresso ran a skeptical piece about the settlement of Mars. Although the article quoted Bas Lansdorp several times, most of the space went to critics of Mars One. Jürgen Herholz, president of Mars Society Germany, considers Mars Direct a more realistic plan. Physicist Giovanni Bignami argued that the an actual mission to Mars will require orders of magnitude more effort than Mars One plans. It quoted a Guardian piece by neuroscientist Chris Chambers criticizing Mars One from a human factors point of view.

The Tallahassee Scene, a native marketing service for ad firm CollegeVox, ran a commentary about Mars One and reality TV. While snarky, the author seems to be rooting for its success.

MIT graduate students delivered a presentation at last week’s International Astronomical Conference called “An Independent Assessment of the Technical Feasibility of the Mars One Mission Plan”. They created a simulation of the proposed Mars One habitat and found that the settlers would die from lack of oxygen within 68 days. In addition they believe Mars One is underestimating the number of launches and costs by a factor of 10 because the settlers would need far more supplies and replacement parts than currently assumed. Lead author Sydney Do provides a link to the paper on his MIT Strategic Engineering profile. (The link was broken when I wrote this) The paper hasn’t been posted online yet, but Stephen Cohen recapped the session at The Engineer’s Pulse.

The only Mars One candidates to hit the headlines last week were Australians Dianne McGrath and Josh Richards. McGrath spoke with the Sydney Morning Herald about her ambitions to reach Mars. (McGrath will speak at TEDxMelbourne on October 10) While attending the National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle, Australia, Richards spoke with radio show ABC Newcastle Mornings.