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.
As part of Alaska Design Forum’s Nostalgia lecture series, Joel Salatin will present the problems with mainstream food/agriculture systems, and how a return to traditional ways will help us for
As part of Alaska Design Forum’s Nostalgia lecture series, Joel Salatin will present the problems with mainstream food/agriculture systems, and how a return to traditional ways will help us for the future. There also will be an emphasis on permaculture and agriculture system design. Advance purchase/registration (even for season pass holders) is highly recommended. Admission is $20 ($15 w/ student ID). There will be very limited seats available at the door.
KTOO is honored to host NPR humorist and award winning author, David Sedaris this May 14th at Juneau Douglas High School. He’ll read new, original pieces for an hour, and will sign books before and after the performance. We’re told the book signings are just as much a part of the event as the readings, and he sticks around until the last person wanting to connect has a chance. Hearthside Books will be on hand selling his latest.
MATURE CONTENT: Adult Language and Themes.
BABIES – Discouraged. Ticket required for all ages.
CHILDREN – Recommended for ages 13 and older.
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.
Sedaris is the author of “Barrel Fever” and “Holidays on Ice,” as well as collections of personal essays, “Naked,” “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim,” “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” and his most recent book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” each of which have become immediate best sellers. The audio version of “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” is a 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. Sedaris is the author of the New York Times best-selling collection of fables, titled “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer.) He was also the editor of “Children Playing before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories.” Sedaris’ pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “the Best American Essays.” There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 29 languages.
An Evening with David Sedaris is made possible with support from:
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.