Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy
. Mars Exploration News .

Bid to colonize Mars wins high-profile backing
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Dec 10, 2013

A Dutch entrepreneur's bold quest to colonize Mars won high-profile support Tuesday from a US aerospace giant, although the timetable for putting humans on the red planet has been pushed back two years.

Mars One chief executive Bas Lansdorp said Lockheed Martin would, for $250,000, produce a "mission concept study" for an unmanned Martian lander that would precede the $6 billion manned mission.

Britain's Surrey Satellite Technology will meanwhile turn out a similar study, for 60,000 euros ($80,000), for a satellite that would hover in orbit over the lander and relay data and images back to Earth.

Plans call for the unmanned lander to reach Mars in 2018.

But as for the ultimate goal of putting humans on Mars, Lansdorp told reporters in Washington that "our first humans will land in 2025" -- two years later than he announced earlier this year.

The first four earthlings-turned-Martians would be joined every two years by additional groups of four or more astronauts -- all on one-way tickets to space's next frontier, he said.

Some 200,000 people have already applied to go to Mars, Lansdorp said, and they will learn by the end of this year whether they have passed the first-round selection process.

Lockheed Martin, which made $2.65 billion in fiscal 2011, mostly from defense contracts, built NASA's Phoenix robotic spacecraft that landed on Mars in 2008 in search of evidence of water.

Ed Sedivy, the company's chief engineer for civilian space projects, said the Mars One lander would likely look like Phoenix on the outside, albeit with a carpet of thin solar paneling running off its side.

Inside, however, it would be fitted with the latest space electronics, said Sedivy, who was previously Lockheed Martin's point man for the Phoenix mission.

Although Lansdorp opened his press conference by saying "Lockheed Martin will build the first Mars lander" for Mars One, Sedivy said it had been contracted so far only for the concept study.

Besides conducting experiments, including a search for possible ways of creating water on Mars' surface, the lander will carry letters from youngsters on Earth to welcome the first Martian colonists, Lansdorp said.

He also envisioned a camera dangling from a balloon several hundred meters above the lander that would beam images back to Earth in real time.

Lansdorp expects it will cost $6 billion to put the first humans on Mars, where they will be expected to star in the galaxy's first interplanetary reality TV show.

He expects a big chunk of funding to come from "sponsors and partners" such as universities with experiments they'd like to see piggy-backing onto the mission.

A range of potential pitfalls might prevent Mars One from becoming a reality, including an inability to return to Earth, the small living quarters and the lack of food and water on Mars.

That assumes, of course, that radiation endured by its astronauts during the trip is not lethal, and that their spacecraft will be able to negotiate a volatile landing onto the harsh Martian landscape.

The project has garnered plenty of skeptics, but its supporters include Dutch Nobel laureate Gerard 't Hooft, who won the 1999 prize for physics and appears in a video for Mars One on the Indiegogo crowd-funding website.

The world's space agencies have only managed to send unmanned robotic rovers to Mars so far, the latest being NASA's $2.5 billion Curiosity rover, which touched down in August 2012.

If it succeeds, Mars One would be the first private-sector initiative, manned or unmanned, to explore another planet.


Related Links
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

One-way ticket to Mars: space colonists wanted!
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Dec 10, 2013
Bas Lansdorp, the founder of Mars One colony project, believes that in about a decade from now a colony of people from the Earth will appear on Mars. Experts confirm that with the current technologies this is quite possible. Eccentric as Bas Lansdorp's ideas may sound, his speech at a recent International Space Commerce summit gathered a full hall of listeners, mostly entrepreneurs. ... read more

Silent Orbit for China's Moon Lander

China's most moon-like place

LADEE Instruments Healthy and Ready for Science

China launches first moon rover mission

China moon rover enters lunar orbit: Xinhua

Turkey keen on space cooperation with China

China space launch debris wrecks villagers' homes: report

Designer: moon rover uses cutting-edge technology

New crew to run space station in March

Russian android may take on outer space operations at ISS

Repurposing ISS Trash for Power and Water

Russian spacecraft with advanced navigation system docks with ISS

The Sounds of New Horizons

On the Path to Pluto, 5 AU and Closing

SwRI study finds that Pluto satellites' orbital ballet may hint of long-ago collisions

Archival Hubble Images Reveal Neptune's "Lost" Inner Moon

Cassini Spacecraft Obtains Best Views of Saturn Hexagon

Model Suggests Ocean Currents Shape Europa's Icy Shell in Ways Critical for Potential Habitats

The Bright Vortex Off Saturn Way

Amidst and Beyond the Rings

Juno Gives Starship-Like View Of Earth Flyby

China-Brazil satellite fails to enter orbit

Mysteries of Earth's radiation belts uncovered by NASA twin spacecraft

Mapping the world's largest coral reef

Heat Shield for NASA's Orion Spacecraft Arrives at Kennedy Space Center

Space exploration can drive the next agricultural revolution

Global patent growth hits 18-year high

Facebook joins NYU in artificial intelligence lab

Astronomers discover planet that shouldn't be there

Hot Jupiters Highlight Challenges in the Search for Life Beyond Earth

Astronomers find strange planet orbiting where there shouldn't be one

Hubble Traces Subtle Signals of Water on Hazy Worlds

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement