Tag Archives | Space Colonies

Mars One Mission Selection Will Be A Reality TV Show

mars oneEver wish that reality TV stars could be hurtled off to Mars with no possibility of ever coming back? They've made a show out of it. Via the Telegraph:
Mars One hopes to announce a Big Brother-style reality show to help choose which of the 1,058 candidates for the one-way trip to Mars in 2025 will be among the 40 who make the final selection, with viewers voting on who should colonise the Red Planet. Paul Römer, co-creator and the first producer of The Big Donor Show and the Big Brother, is an ambassador for the project. CEO Bas Lansdorp has said: "We're in advanced negotiations with a major studio for an overall deal for film and television properties." 1,058 candidates survived the round one application process, which has weeded out more than 200,000 people since April last year. Organisers said they ruled out anyone "not taking the mission seriously". The shortlisted candidates come from 107 countries.
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NASA Plans To Grow Plants On The Moon

plants

The new balanced diet includes space fruits. The Independent reports:

NASA has announced plans to grow plants on the moon by 2015 in a project designed to further humanity’s chances of successfully colonising space. If successful, the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team will make history by seeding life from Earth on another celestial body for the first time, paving the way for humans to set up more permanent habitation.

NASA plans to deliver the payload via the Moon Express lander, a commercial spacecraft enrolled in the Google Lunar X Prize. Seeds will include Arabidopsis, basil, and turnips,” said NASA officials in a press release.

Partial gravity and lunar radiation will need to be accounted for, although the plants will travel with their own water reservoir and enough air for five days of growth. Cameras and sensors will monitor the plants and send data back to Earth.

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PayPal And SETI Are Working On An Off-Planet Currency

off-planet currencyEarthly problems are being spread to outer space. The International Business Times reports:

On Thursday, the online payment giant PayPal announced PayPal Galactic, a collaboration with the SETI Institute aimed at developing new payment systems for the final frontier. The frontier is here: Virgin Galactic is launching its first public flight this Christmas, and space hotels could be in orbit around Earth as early as 2016.

“As space tourism programs are opening space travel to ‘the rest of us,’ this drives questions about the commercialization of space,” PayPal President David Marcus said. “One thing is clear: We won’t be using cash in space.”

There are lots of questions about what form a space-friendly money system might take. Will spaceships and habitats have the communications technology needed to transfer money? How will banks manage accounts for people living off-planet? How will government financial regulations pertain to people in space (perhaps to curtail a new kind of “offshore banking”)?

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Mars One To Begin Application Process For One-Way Tickets To Mars

mars oneThe Mars One website lists necessary traits to be eligible, including mid-range height, blood pressure below 140/90, and a curious, resilient personality. The New York Daily News explains:

Mars One, the private company that hopes to land a person on the surface of the red planet by 2023, will begin accepting videos made by prospective astronauts along with a $25 application fee that will go toward funding the ambitious colonization project.

“We expect a million applications with 1-minute videos,” said Bas Lansdorp, Mars One co-founder. So far, 45,000 people have registered on the company’s mailing list, and 10,000 aspiring astronauts have expressed a desire to apply.

The 24 astronauts will be selected to establish a permanent Martian colony, as there are no current plans for a return journey from Mars. At a New York news conference scheduled for April 22, Mars One will further detail how those who are ready to abandon Earth can proceed.

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Libra The 21st Century Libertarian Space Colony

Dreaming of planned libertarian communities seems to be all the rage. But perhaps the only place they can succeed is in outer space. Via Smithsonian Magazine, Matt Novak on the 1978 think-tank-produced movie Libra:
Produced and distributed by a free-market group based in San Diego called World Research, Inc., the 40-minute film is set in the year 2003 and gives viewers a look at two vastly different worlds. On Earth, a world government has formed and everything is micromanaged to death, killing private enterprise. But in space, there’s true hope for freedom. Viewers get an interesting peek into what daily life is like when a Libra resident shows off her Abacus computer,  which is a bit like Siri. The film’s vision for 2003 isn’t very pleasant — at least for those left on Earth. The people of Libra seem happy, while those on Earth cope with the world government’s dystopian top-down management of resources.
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SpaceX Founder’s Colony On Mars Would Be For Vegetarians Only

A previously-unmentioned wrinkle in the most feasible plan for humanity to reach a second planet: meat eaters will be left behind to languish on Earth. Russia Today writes:

A US billionaire and co-founder of PayPal, Elon Musk, has made plans to build a settlement for 80,000 people on Mars when technology makes it possible for man to live there, for a price of $500,000.

Musk is a considered one of America’s most respected private space entrepreneurs and was in charge of creating SpaceX, a space transport company that produced the Falcon 9 rocket that delivers NASA cargo to the International Space Station. The billionaire’s estate and prominence in the space industry could make his plans [for a city on Mars] feasible, but the California-based engineer has not left behind his personal ideologies: Musk will only allow vegetarians to live in his settlement.

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Mars One Project Has More Than 1,000 Volunteers For A One-Way Trip To Mars

The previously discussed Mars One project may not be the favorite in the race to devise a feasible plan for colonization of the Red Planet. But even assuming that most would not follow through, it’s astounding that so many people are so eager to get off of Earth. Via Yahoo! News UK:

The Mars One organisation has revealed details of its plans to land four astronauts on the Red Planet in 2023, with four additional ‘crew’ arriving every two years. The organisation said that it had had more than 1,000 volunteers for the mission, who emailed in via the foundation’s website.

Selection of the astronauts will begin next year, the Dutch organisation says. The trip to the planned ‘colony’ would be one-way – and the astronaut volunteers will live and die on Mars.

Mars One aims to finance a mission to Mars via donations from corporations, people – and by creating a reality show-style ‘media event’ around the training and selection of its astronauts.

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SpaceX Founder Hopes To Send 80,000 People To Mars This Decade

A one-way ticket to Mars would cost a mere half million dollars, quite enticing if you’re wealthy but your daily existence on Earth is barren and meaningless. Space.com writes:

Elon Musk, the billionaire founder and CEO of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, wants to help establish a Mars colony of up to 80,000 people by ferrying explorers to the Red Planet for perhaps $500,000 a trip. Musk figures the colony program — which he wants to be a collaboration between government and private enterprise — would end up costing about $36 billion.

“At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big,” Musk told an audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Friday. In Musk’s vision, the ambitious Mars settlement program would start with a pioneering group of fewer than 10 people, who would journey to the Red Planet aboard a huge reusable rocket.

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The Catalog Of Habitable Outer Space Planets

Curious about where to go next? The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog is a project to grade and rank the planets outside of our solar system which offer the most livable conditions, were humanity to ponder a move.

At right is a rendering of sunrise on one of the planets in the Gliese 581 planetary system, a top contender. As of now, there are 6 confirmed potentially habitable planets, 27 unconfirmed potentially habitable planets, and 30 predicted potentially habitable moons:

The exoplanets Gliese 581 d, HD 85512 b, Kepler-22 b, Gliese 667C c, Gliese 581 g, and now Gliese 163 c are the only current six planets that are considered potentially habitable or object of interest for the search of extraterrestrial life (image above). The image shows these objects approximately to scale and compared with Earth and Mars. They also are ranked with the Earth Similarity Index, or ESI (number below the names).

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Gingrich’s Path To Statehood For A Space Colony

moo_img001Wondering if the Constitution still applies when gravity does not? Newt Gingrich believes so. Buzzfeed dug up Newt’s 1981 bill laying out rules of governance for a future 20,000-person U.S. colony on the moon or Mars. At the moment he’s being bashed from all sides for this, but I think it’s fantastic:

Yesterday Newt Gingrich revealed his “weirdest idea ever” — to provide a path to statehood for a hypothetical lunar colony.

With the help of the skilled research librarians in the Library of Congress Law Library, BuzzFeed tracked down the bill, which Gingrich called the “Northwest Ordinance for Space,” or formally the “National Space and Aeronautics Policy Act of 1981.”

“The Congress declares that the United States is committed to the expansion of free people and free institutions into space,” the bill stated, calling for an array of near earth and solar space travel vehicles to be completed by 2010.

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