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Old August 6 2013, 07:24 PM   #1
Captain Kathryn
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Mars One - Unethical?

Not sure how many of you know about the Mars One organization and company and what they are aiming to do, but on a very basic level they pretty much want to begin colonizing Mars with human beings without the assistance (I believe) of NASA or other international governments. They are planning to do this on the basis that they will first gather as many investors as possible, as much money as possible, and first start off by sending cargo and livable habitats to Mars... then eventually send humans on a one-way journey never to return to Earth.

In theory and from my own personal perspective, the idea sounded pretty cool to me at first considering it is also my wish to expand our exploration territory into that of outer space and perhaps eventually terraform Mars and set up colonies on other worlds. Adding to that, these applicants are well-aware of the risks involved and are told clearly that *they will not be coming back*.

However, after watching this video of the CEO Bas Lansdorp and after reading the content of their website (, I began to have a more cynical and doubtful concept of why they are really doing this.

It seems to me, after watching various interviews with the CEO and reading the information on their site, that they are NOT doing this project for the purpose of a greater good or for further exploration of Mars, space, or mankind at all. The entire operation seems to just be a giant (and quite elaborate) smokescreen for them to make $$$ while completely disregarding the lives that it may cost. If you read between the lines and listen carefully to what he is saying without getting swept away with the talk that every sci-fi fan dreams of, it seems as though he is using this project as simply a grandiose way to make billions of dollars. I will explain my reasoning about why I think this.

1. Doing a cool thing for the wrong reason---PROFIT.
If you read closely on their website, sure...there is a non-for-profit sector of this project...and there is ALSO a FOR-PROFIT company behind it. The CEO Bas Lansdorp expresses OVER AND OVER (admittedly) again and again about "how they could make tons of money" by basically stranding people on Mars. If you listen to the documentary, I think it's clear that he is just an ambitious entrepreneur who, yes might be interested in this for exploration reasons and the "future of mankind", but WAY more than that, the dude just wants to make bank. That much is clear if you watch that video.

Here is a little snippet from Wikipedia:
Mars One, the not-for-profit foundation, is the controlling stockholder of the for-profit Interplanetary Media Group.[19] A global reality-TV media event is intended to provide most of the funds to finance the expedition. It should begin with the astronaut selection process (with some public participation) and continue on through the first years of living on Mars.

They are going to exploit the people through reality TV to make profit...but this isn't some silly shit like "Survivor"...these people WILL NOT be able to return home.

2. Not considering future advancements in technology that may bring the people home one day.
In addition to boldly saying he wants to make billions from this venture, he also "makes it clear" that the people who go to Mars "cannot EVER come home" because we don't yet have the technology to do so. He claims that the selected applicants will travel there, live there, and DIE there without EVER considering that advancements might be made in the future in terms of space travel. The fact that he doesn't even consider it to be a viable possibility in the future is alarming.

I started researching and found that NASA has, for quite a while, been working on creating a spacecraft that theoretically COULD travel man to Mars and back (among other places such as the Moon and back). So why does he not acknowledge this? He refuses to ever mention these people coming back. I think it is only to serve his OWN purpose which is "I want as many people as possible to watch the mission on TV and make me the most amount of money." He is making the project sound more adventurous and dangerous than it might actually be because in his mind, more people will be interested in it and watch it on TV the more risky it is.

First of all, the launch is not even scheduled until 2023, I believe. Which gives us 10 more years to create a spacecraft that could travel that distance and return back to Earth. Plus, even if we didn't reach that goal by the year 2023, it is probable that the applicants who go to Mars will live a normal lifespan (assuming nothing on Mars kills them). So if an astronaut arrives on Mars through this program at the age of 30 and lives to 60 or 70....that gives that human another 30-40 years to see more advancements in technology (such as THE CAPACITY TO GO HOME). Also, while we are at it...if they are going through all the trouble to transport cargo and things to Mars...why not take all of those BILLIONS of dollars you are going to be making and put it to good use by either 1) donating it to an ACTUAL space program like NASA and try to get them to create a module that could carry the equipment they would need to build their own launch site or 2) redirect their efforts (again, using those supposed BILLIONS of dollars they will be making in profit) to building something that would allow planet-to-planet transfer.

NASA is already working on this spacecraft which, in theory, will eventually allow planet-to-planet travel.

I quote from the article:
Orion will utilize advances in propulsion, communications, life support, structural design, navigation and power, drawing from the extensive spaceflight experience of NASA and its industry partners. With destinations including near-Earth asteroids, our own Moon, the moons of Mars and eventually Mars itself, Orion will carry astronauts into a new era of exploration.

Therefore, isn't it a little bit premature for this CEO to be making assumptions such as "they will never be able to return to Earth"?

3. Not safe, not condoned by NASA or other space organizations. Should probably not even be legal.
I have to still research to see what NASA and other international space organizations think of this company, but it's clear that they are not currently involved and not donating and not participating in it.

Lately, we all know that "space travel" as become a little bit more commercialized with some companies offering "space flights" that BARELY even go above our atmosphere. But, I think this is getting a little bit out of hand. There are laws regulating everything, it seems, except space.

There are plenty of laws that govern us all as human beings...sure they differ from country to country, but there are some basic human laws that exist in most societies. Space, it seems, is one area that, until recently, was seemingly untouchable and unreachable by us common folks or private citizens. Therefore, there probably have not been too many laws to regulate it for private citizens outside the confines of government organizations such as NASA.

I am sure this CEO is going to make these "astronauts" sign all kinds of contracts saying "If I die, get sick, starve to death, etc etc that event...OOPS! Looks like Bas and the company won't be responsible!" The fu**er should be responsible! He is the one who condoned it.

If NASA truly and unequivocally thought that going to Mars on a permanent basis was feasible or safe at this juncture in human technological development, I think they would have done it already or would have at least planned for something similar. But, they have not. Why? BECAUSE THEY CAN'T BRING THE PEOPLE BACK YET!

Maybe it's just because my concept of space travel has been so heavily Trek-ized, but I truly believe that when we come to the point of colonizing other worlds and going "where no one has gone before", that it should truly be for the betterment of society, of mankind, and for the sole purpose of exploring the unknown. Not for some rich dude to make billions because a few people will be dumb enough to say yes.

Oh BTW...guess who is NOT going to Mars? BAS THE CEO, that's who! Considering the fact that money will be COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT on Mars and be of no value whatsoever, I don't think he would like that very much. The people living on Mars won't even need part of the profits considering Mars has no monetary system...

What do you guys think? Am I overreacting? Because this has really been bothering me.

Once there was a grocery man whose name was simply Louie...until the day his store blew up and his produce went kablewie.

Dead Lazlo's Place

Last edited by Captain Kathryn; August 6 2013 at 07:47 PM.
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