When we first discussed the Mars One Mission nearly four years ago we couldn’t help feel that this was possibly ‘pie in the sky’. The idea was and is to send a select group of people to Mars to establish the first permanent human colony on Mars. This is to be a one-way mission; those selected will end their days on Mars.
But this week the whole plan moved a step closer with the announcement of the selection of the third round of potential astronauts. The list is now down to 100 people. One of those potential astronauts is Irish; Dr Joseph Roche from Trinity College Dublin. Joseph will now go onto to further testing later this year and could potentially be joining the first manned mission to Mars in 2024. In the short term Joseph will be joining us in studio on Saturday to tell us how he feels at this point now that he has to seriously contemplate life on Mars.
The Mars One project is led by the Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp who views private-funded missions like this as the future of space exploration. The plan is to create a reality TV Show around the mission which will help fund the mission as well as raising money through crowd-sourcing. Bas will also be joining us to talk about the Mission and about the ethical implications of the Mars One Mission; he is essentially asking people to die on Mars.
But are we entering a new exciting Space Age to rival the late 60’s when the world watched breathlessly as Armstrong and Co. made their attempt to land on the moon? Will this generation watch their computer screens or phones as they follow news of Joseph Roche and his fellow Martians touching down on the red planet?
Not everybody is convinced. We’ll also be joined by Dr Kevin Nolan author of "Mars - A Cosmic Stepping Stone". Kevin thinks Mars One is a highly dubious exploration mission and that there are many dubious aspects to Mars One on human, scientific, societal and ethical grounds.
So tune in to Futureproof this Saturday from 10am. Your radio needs you.
Check out the trailer for the latest round of Mars One