NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 55 million miles away in 2007. NASA/UPI/Landov
In New York on Monday, a group of scientists and entrepreneurs launched a quixotic program that could allow you (yes you!) to make a trip to Mars. But you can’t come back.
The Mars One nonprofit organization announced that it is now open to applicants interested in making a commercially sponsored one-way mission to Mars.
This isn’t the first proposed Mars mission on the books. NASA has it as a long-term goal to send astronauts to the red planet. And space entrepreneur Dennis Tito recently announced plans to send a couple for a fly-by in 2018.
But Mars One stands apart in very important ways: First, it will strive to be self-financed by selling the astronaut selection process, launch and landing as a reality television show. Second, the lucky winners will live out their lives in an inflatable habitat on another planet.
“If somebody’s an outdoors person who says, ‘I need my mountains, I need to smell the flowers,’ then it’s not the mission for him,” says Norbert Kraft, the group’s chief medical officer.
Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp says that the idea of selling the trip as prime-time television really seemed doable after he saw the revenue numbers from the London Olympics. That event garnered more than $4 billion in just over three weeks, he says. With that in mind, the mission’s $6 billion price tag “is actually a bargain.”
In fact, there will be a lot more to watch than the launch and landing. Even today, visitors to the Mars One website can check out public videos from applicants and vote on who they like the most. Those liked more will be more likely to go on to the next round of astronaut selection. Future rounds will be televised: Participants in each nation will square off against each other with only a single participant making his or her way to years of training. That final round will be an internationally broadcast show in which six teams of four vie for the chance to get voted off of Earth.
It sounds crazy. But is it really crazier than shows about people who hunt alligators or drive trucks on roads of ice? Lansdorp says that he has consulted with Big Brother co-creator Paul Römer, who thinks that the show could work. Over the years, Lansdorp says, viewers will develop a close connection to the astronaut applicants. “That’s why it will stay interesting for a very, very long time,” he says.
Lansdorp says that his biggest worry at the moment is his ability to raise the money needed to send rovers and supplies to Mars in advance of the 2023 landing. But he hopes that the astronaut application process will help to raise money. “We are already receiving a lot of interest from [broadcasters],” he says.
The application itself might be a money-maker, too: It will cost U.S. residents $38 to put their name down for a one-way journey.
In January, Alaska's Energy Desk is celebrating the anniversary of the publication of John McPhee's 1977 book "Coming into the Country." On Jan. 24, 2017, Willie Hensley
In January, Alaska’s Energy Desk is celebrating the anniversary of the publication of John McPhee’s 1977 book “Coming into the Country.” On Jan. 24, 2017, Willie Hensley and other guests featured in the book will join us on stage as we discuss the Alaska of the 1970s and how the past (and the book) shaped the state today.
A simultaneous live forum in Anchorage will feature Pat Pourchot and other guests. Studios will be linked so audiences can participate in both discussions.
Join us for the ever growing annual KTOO and Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival with more than a dozen halibut, salmon and rockfish dishes to choose from, a variety of desserts,
Join us for the ever growing annual KTOO and Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival with more than a dozen halibut, salmon and rockfish dishes to choose from, a variety of desserts, live music from the Rob Cohen Jazz Group and a silent auction.
The seafood was generously donated by Taku Fisheries and will be prepared by the following participating restaurants:
The Rookery Café
The Coconut Thai Cuisine
TK Maquire’s at the Prospector
V’s Cellar Door
Heritage Coffee Roasting Company
All food is included in the ticket prize. No-host bar service provided by Salt Restaurant.
The annual KTOO & Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival is KTOO’s major fundraiser, and all proceeds from tickets sales and the silent auction benefit KTOO.
The annual tutored beer tasting by Alaskan Brewing Company at 5 p.m. is the kick-off to the 2017 KTOO and Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival. Your opportunity to sample some of the Alaskan Brewing Companies finest beers, to taste some of their new varieties and to learn about the magic behind their unique flavors and award winning brews. After the tutored beer tasting, you are welcome to stay on for the Seafood Festival which starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are sold separately. Get your tickets for the beer tasting and the Seafood Festival here, and join us for a night of food, drink and dancing to raise funds for public media in Juneau!
MudroomsReal people. real stories. Live, on stage. “Mudrooms” is a community-powered monthly event in Juneau, where real people tell real stories, live. Anchorage has “Arctic Entries”. In Juneau, we’re just as sophisticated – just a little muddier. Mudrooms’ creators are Amanda Compton and Alida Bus. Audio production by Marc Wheeler.
Focus On Community“Focus on Community” is an hour long, public affairs program hosted by different volunteer, community members each week. The format ranges from in-studio discussions, to live call-ins. Topics vary from peace initiatives to mental health problems to hotly debated town issues. Any and all community members are invited to present a show idea and work with us to bring it the air.
Telling Tales with Ms. GEach week, host, Ms.G, reads a selection of writing based around a given theme. Audio of her show is available the following day here on our website.