Mars One plans to establish human settlement on Mars in 2023

No return ticket
June 3, 2012

Mars colony in 2025 (credit: Mars One)

Help wanted: astronaut. Must be willing to relocate to Mars — permanently. Hire date: 2013. Benefits: make history, start new planetary civilization, star in reality TV show. Apply to: Mars One.  

Netherlands-based Mars One hopes to establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023. It has created a technical plan for this ambitious mission that is “as simple as possible” and says it has identified potential suppliers, such as SpaceX, for every component of the mission.

Mars One plans to fund the mission by making it a reality TV show, in the “biggest media spectacle in history” with help from Mars One ambassador Paul Römer, co-creator of the globally successful Big Brother reality TV show (a group of people live together in a large house, isolated from the outside world). Everyone will get to watch the astronauts make their journey, and also choose which candidate gets to go (as in the Big Brother show).

Here’s the plan

2013: Crowdsourced selection of first four astronauts; a replica of the Mars settlement built in the desert to help the astronauts prepare and train, and to test the equipment — all carried on TV.

Simulated Mars base (credit: Mars One)

2014: Production of the first Mars communication satellite.

2016:  Supply mission launched for Mars — to land October 2016 with its cargo: 2500 kilograms of food.

Supply mission (credit: Mars One)

2018: Robotic exploration vehicle lands on Mars to pick best location for the settlement.

Mars One rover (credit: Mars One)

2021: . Two living units, two life support units, a second supplies unit and another rover create a habitable settlement.

Robots create Mars colony habitation (credit: Mars One)

2022: Liftoff on the future SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy.

2023: Landing on a lander built by SpaceX, likely a special variant of the Dragon capsule.

2025: Second group of four astronauts lands.

“Mars One is an extraordinarily daring initiative by people with vision and imagination,” says Mars One Ambassador and physics Nobel prize winner Gerard ‘t Hooft. “This project seems to me to be the only way to fulfill dreams of mankind’s expansion into space.”

Mars One founder is entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Ampyx Power, a technology start-up company that is developing the PowerPlane, a device that can extract energy from the wind more economically than wind turbines.