Mars One Monday - February 9

A closeup of Mars taken on February 6 from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's ChemCam.  Credit: Nasa/JPL-Caltech/LANL

A closeup of Mars taken on February 6 from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity's ChemCam.  Credit: Nasa/JPL-Caltech/LANL

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

News from Mars One

In advance of the February 16 announcement of the candidate selection, Mars One posted this video about the current candidates:

Media Commentary on Mars One

Documentary producer Walker Lamonde snarked on Boing Boing about the Mars One candidates. Lamonde was part of the team at Stateless Media that produced this 10-minute video for the Guardian:

The NY Times ethics column contemplates the morality of one-way Mars settlement. “I still ultimately disagree with the concept of saving people from themselves…. For your hypothetical spaceman, a lack of knowledge about his future is not an ethical deal breaker. It’s simply another component of the assumed risk.”

The Canadian Broadcasting Company reported on the December fire at the Desert Mars Research Station. When the greenhouse at the remote Mars analog station caught fire, the program’s volunteers had to fight it themselves. Fire investigators determined that the greenhouse’s space heater set wood shelving, dried out in the desert conditions, on fire. Like all of the other media coverage, the CBC cited this as an example of the dangers Mars settlers will face. As with other media coverage, it was up to commenters to point out that astronauts on Mars wouldn’t have to fight the fire - just open the doors to the near vacuum on the Martian surface.

Boston’s public broadcasting outlet KQED polled students on ethics of Mars settlement. Those who opposed settlement based their opinions on the risk to human life as well as the threat to any existing Martian life. Those who supported settlement ignored any ethical considerations. They based their opinions on space enthusiasts’ usual manifest destiny arguments.

Mars One Candidates in the News

The Coventry Telegraph recapped coverage of local Mars One candidate, and astrophysics graduate student, Maggie Lieu. The article focuses on her interest in science, how she hopes to inspire kids to pursue science careers, and her belief in humanity’s destiny in space. Unfortunately the rest of the world media decided that the young, pretty blonde’s comment about having kids on Mars was more important.

Seven Mars One candidates start a simulation of a mission to Mars. They are participating in the Mars Society's analog research program at the Mars Desert Research Station. Crewmember Kellie Gerardi told Space.com that none of them are “planetary malcontents”. During their 2-week mission, the crew will conduct research and test techniques that may be used by settlers on the red planet.

Australian candidate Dianne McGrath spoke with the Saturday Paper. She said that losing all of her possessions in a fire several years ago made her learn to leave things behind. 

Other candidates mentioned by the media: