At the moment there's no timeline for humans reaching Mars. But Dutch company Mars One has set a firm date: the year 2023. And they're not planning on financing the project with government grants or even traditional private venture funding. Instead, they hope to turn the mission into "the biggest media event ever", and use the money generated by that event to finance it. Basically, they want to make a reality show about going to Mars in order to pay for the mission.
They told the Daily Mail about the media component of the Mars One mission: "the entire world will be able to watch and help with decisions as the teams of settlers are selected, follow their extensive training and preparation for the mission and of course observe their settling on Mars once arrived".
Sounds like reality TV: voting on who gets to stay and go; watching the interactions between the people involved - and potentially seeing some drama unfold in a confined space. And one of the company's backers is Paul Romer, the co-creator of an earth-bound reality show: Big Brother.
The plan is to land four explorers on the surface of Mars by 2023, with more joining them over the next decade to bring the total number of Martian residents up to 20. Members of the mission will live in pod-like buildings that will be pre-constructed by machines before the first explorers arrive.
In addition to being backed by a reality TV producer, Mars One has enlisted the expertise of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Gerard 't Hooft. And as well as blending reality TV ambition with Nobel expertise, the mission is unlike other proposed missions to Mars in another way: the explorers will be expected to spend the rest of their lives on the Red Planet.
Check out a video explaining the proposed mission below:
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