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Jakarta Post

Anyone want to live on Mars?

  • Florence Nathania

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 30, 2013   /  04:07 pm
Anyone want to live on Mars?

There is definitely a fine line between insanity and genius.

Scientists, who were most commonly attached with those attributes, had somehow contributed to the major scientific and technological advancements we have today. So, what about this proposition of living on Mars?

About 78,000 people have registered to move out from the Earth in a one way trip to the red planet, which is projected to start in 2023. Project leader, Bas Lansdrop from the Netherland, will have his first communication satellite launched in January 2016 as the first phase to set up human settlements on Mars. Later they will construct all the daily life necessities: bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, gardens and fields. This futuristic project is known as Mars One.

A team of the world'€™s high-ranking space scientists, researchers, engineers and designers were invited to make Mars One succeed. So does the presence of economists and communicators from all over the globe in the advisory team create a strong base for the dream-like plan. Support has also come from 1999 Nobel laureate and physicist Gerard '€˜t Hooft.

This mission is conducting a global open spaceman recruitment program in 2013. One needs neither military nor scientific background to join, but they must be trained for a eight year period, which is for free. Those over 18 years of age along with five keys characteristics of resiliency, adaptability, curiosity, trust ability, and resourcefulness, moreover who pass some medical and physical requirements, may apply for this.

Indonesia so far has two applicants for this mission: a 22 year-old chemistry undergraduate student Rio Febrian who currently resides in Missouri, and a 35 year-old computer technician Aldo Junus.

Rio Febrian revealed his rationale to go on the mission through an uploaded video, '€œI would like go to Mars because it has been my dream. Since I was little, my biggest dream was to actually go to a different planet, and I am a very curious person. I am studying chemistry right now, I love research, and I have pretty strong math, so I hope that will help.'€

Stating his reason through the same channel, Aldo Junus revealed his interest in exploring new things. He believes that his courage, intelligence and strong personality would be a perfect combination to succeed in the mission. In addition to that, Aldo wishes to be the first groom to marry in a foreign planet.

These videos respond to questions such as: why do you want to go to mars? What is your sense of humor? And what makes you the ideal candidate. They function as one of the requirements to be one of Mars One'€™s astronauts too, as well as the application fee. If this is a calling, one may want to apply no later than August.

Playing it safe by using existing technology instead of creating new ones does not make this project free from criticism, especially for its dubious business plan. The non-profit work gets its major funding from a planned reality TV show broadcast from Interplanetary Media Group. A Number of companies have signed as sponsors too, and public donations will follow later.

Mars One presentations have taken place in the US and Europe apart all through this year, except in February. Meanwhile its global campaign has gone viral since May 2012, its YouTube video has now gone beyond 1.3 million viewers.

For Futurists, astronomers, skeptics, believers and curious, the website is the answer. Visitors can find inclusive info, donate, apply for future residency or get short-listed to be the pioneer astronauts.

Whether one views it as insanity or genius, Mars One is real science fiction. Maybe one day you will have a cute
singing alien-pet. One will never know, but one may believe.

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