Thursday 9 August 2012

Visionary habitation of a human colony on Mars

The historical occasion of the Mars rover Curiosity flawlessly landing inspires humanity with buckets of hope for eventually making ways, perhaps for humans to one day set foot on the red planet.

Since Mars is 250 million miles from earth a round trip to and from it would take more than 12 months, and would be astronomically costly. Needless to say, a somewhat ambitious plan has recently been forwarded which proposes establishing a living colony of permanently based human inhabitants.

Bas Lansdorp via his Dutch company Mars One is aiming to send ten humans to the red planet by 2023 by creating a one way trip to willing frontier inhabitants. Lansdorp will next year be holding a worldwide lottery in order to select 40 trainee astronauts. And after a yet to be declared period these lucky winners will whittle down to ten for the actual mission itself, by turning the selection and training programme into a "media event" similar to a reality show.

Watch the video animation after the jump to learn how Lansdorp proposes his plan to work.

Seems logical enough but just how will they achieve the basic resources to support life, such as a limitless supply of oxygen, food and energy remains to be seen. But something rather unnervingly overlooked in this neat package, is the pure nature of human frailty, and in particular in microgravity.

"It is well established that space flight can result in loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. This atrophy continues throughout a crew's mission, even if crew-members adhere to a strict exercise regime. What researchers do not understand, however, are the effects that prolonged stays in microgravity have on skeletal muscles." NASA Science.

Nevertheless as can be seen on their website they already have four distinguished scientists working as part of their company, chief among them, Nobel Prize winner Prof. Dr. Gerard 't Hooft, so the idea looks to be no mere viral marketing exercise!

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