Grab your oxygen tanks and astronaut suits and rip off that skin for the next or all the years of your glorious life, because the red planet is calling. Initially seen as a psych out by the Netherlanders in order to get Russia back for Sputnik, Mars One, a project that is anticipated to put four humans on the surface of the fourth loneliest planet, seems to be the real deal. A little bit of research was done, which consisted of clicking the first link that Google selectively picked out, seeing as how I am the inquisitive, introspective type. Mars One is a non-profit project created by one of many Dutch visionaries, who hope to establish a small colony on the paintball planet by the year 2023. What does this mean for society as a whole? Are we on the right track or are we completely oblivious to what we can truly accomplish? I don’t know but I’m still waiting for that fascinating technology that makes baked goods in less than twenty minutes in a seemingly “easy” manner without parental supervision that I was promised.
The idea seems completely captivating at first, but fundamental details are left out by the heads of the project, which leads me to believe that this is a conspiracy of sorts- but hey, we’re sure Tom Cruise is and will be totally on board. Questions like “What is the science behind the creations that will allow this project to become an actual possibility?” Many zealots have dedicated their lives to trying to find a way to get their minds and souls into space, most choose lethargics and hallucinogens, while others go to NASA school- “Out of this world education,” I’m fairly certain that’s a thing. Serious question though: how out of his natural state of mind was Bas Lansdorp, Co-Founder and general director of Mars One, before arriving at such a mind flustering idea that is surely keeping you at the center of your seat as you’re reading this with your deadpan face being appropriately manhandled by your deadpan palm that is attached to your exuberant wrists.
There are several reasons why people could be skeptical about this new project. You do not have to be a nerdy science buff like Bill Nye or a buff science nerd like Tony Stark to understand the last time humans set foot (or any other dangling appendage) on the moon was in 1972. And that was the moon, small potatoes, demo tape, an opening act. Mars is approximately 150 times farther from the earth than the moon is.
Speaking of funding, yeah, although we as Americans (great song by eminem) love to romanticize and delude ourselves when looking back at our history, preferably with a semi automatic in one hand and a Burger King Steakhouse © in the other, let’s not forget the original intent of us going to the moon. For those keeping score at home, it wasn’t to satisfy our childlike scientific curiosity. Instead it was because Russia was doing it, and we have better toys than Russia! Let’s show them, with science! Our landing on the moon was a direct consequence (albeit, a positive one) of our involvement with the Cold War with Russia. That strong aroma of competitiveness (or is it onions..) just isn’t the same with today’s governments, so an intent as strong to fund such explorations isn’t present. We could have taken on the same project, but we don’t have the true desire and passion to do so.
Lastly, after watching several videos of the group behind Mars One, I notice a lot of buzz words such as “social media” and “hype,” almost as if they’re talking about a TV show. In fact, one of the main scientists compares it to the European TV show “Big Brother,” saying it’ll get more coverage. This seems like a interplanetary expedition to colonize the nebulas and expand human influence beyond our single ball of elements, not another Kardashian show.
Maybe, this project is of utmost importance. The idea of being able to witness the rest of the universe or even one lone planet (among the many undiscovered beauties of space, which accounts for a small part of the universe) seems so surreal and captivating. This project might not be able to take flight, it’ll skid on the runway and then someone will forget they left their Pomeranian at the airport terminal mid-air which will make the pilot turn around and wait another fifty years for better technology. But the idea of being able to accomplish something so groundbreaking is probably the most attractive aspect of the whole project. We all desperately cling on to the hope that we as a human race can be on top of our game in all the fields that are relatively relevant. If Mars One is a success, we are able to expand the scope of understanding, and broaden our horizon- Verizon wireless is a great company so maybe they’ll set up some kind of Martian network that will incessantly not drop calls.