Mars One: Crews Won't Know When, Or If, Red Planet Trip Will Happen

Mars One: Crews Won't Know When, Or If, Red Planet Trip Will Happen

Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One, the private venture to establish an outpost on Mars, revealed the general crew training timeline of the expedition during a presentation at SXSW. Lansdorp plans to expand the outpost by sending multiple teams on one-way trips to Mars, financing it by leveraging the media licensing rights.

The crews will be prepared over the course of a decade but because the mission crew can decide not to go at the last minute, backup crews will be kept in the dark until the mission crew is already on their way.

To train the crews, Lansdorp said there’ll be team challenges, with initially three to six teams of four person going into testing facilities

“[We will] build a copy of this Mars outpost here on earth. Each of these teams will be hired full time to train for the mission for 10 years and each year, they’ll be locked up in the simulation outpost, at least once, for an undetermined period of time,” Lansdorp said. “So when they go in, they have no idea if they’ll be in for 15 minutes or the whole year. Because on Mars there’s no countdown.”

According to Lansdorp, Mars One will find the right teams over the 10-year period before the first manned mission is planned to launch. As teams drop out, Lansdorp said Mars One will repeat the selection process every year, so that the number of teams in training will grow to 10-15 by 2026.

“And on Earth, we’ll give em hell. Everything will go wrong. So after they’ve been in for three months, and everything has already been going wrong — the life support system breaks in the middle of the night,” Lansdorp said. “So they wake up, fix the life support system, or they’ll suffocate, then they go to bed. They have about half an hour of sleep before they have to wake up. They wake up, and the toilets in the outpost are broken and there’s a huge smell.”

Unfortunately, when the floor was opened for questions, the presentation’s audience members failed to ask Lansdorp if he had seen The Truman Show.

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