End Of Round One, Random Thoughts

A visualization of the Mars One colony. Image credit Mars One
A visualization of the Mars One colony. Image credit Bryan Versteeg

By the time you read this, Mars One will have closed the doors on new applications. Until September 5th, existing applicants can still make tweaks to their applications, but newcomers will have to wait until 2015 to apply. For me, it’s a done deal. I’ve made my tweaks. My application video might not be the best and the rating is at about the low end of average. I just can’t think of anything better. That inspirational letter has been revised several times. I’m as ready as I’m going to be.

The Mars One Introduction Film

…For those of you who don’t know what Mars One is about already.

I’ve heard that Mars One hasn’t received as many applications as expected. That led some bloggers and commentators to say that they didn’t receive “enough” Martian hopefuls. I say that, if the selection committee can’t get forty viable candidates out of 165,000 aspiring Martians, they aren’t trying hard enough. Applicants include the Emergency Room doctor who is used to handling pressure and the Star Wars fan who can extract water from just about anywhere. My reactions to some people’s application videos ranged from, “That was clever,” to, “Dream on!!!” However, most of them look like they’ve considered the implications of a one-way trip to Mars and signed up anyway.


Do it Martian Style!

Is it fate that those of us who are selected could be the first humans to stand on Mars? A similar topic did come up on the Aspiring Martians Group on Facebook when somebody posted a question about whether we believed in Determinism or Free Will. I answered that it might well be a bit of both. Fate put this opportunity in my path. Now it is my job to seize it if I can. I want this to happen and so do most of the members in the Aspiring Martians Group. The competition will be fierce. With a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, I feel that I can make it. If it seems like determinism that I could be one of the first, well, I would call it a matter of timing if you want to get into semantics. I’m just lucky enough to have this chance and the potential of having my name in the history books.

My Favorite Inspirational Song

Okay. It’s Hercules. It’s Disney, for crying out loud. However, listen to the lyrics. It’s Michael Bolton’s “Go The Distance.”

I think of the history of space flight quite a bit. First America raced Russia for the prize of being first to land on the Moon. Then, things seemed to slow down with a lot of politicking, budget cutbacks, and not much going on beyond low Earth orbit except for some unmanned interplanetary probes. We have a pretty snazzy International Space Station. Could we have established a permanent base on the Moon? Could we have gone on to Mars in the 1980s or 1990s? Will Mars One “Sputnik” governments into action again? (Thanks for the laugh, Doctor Zubrin.) The 1900s may be remembered as the century in which we began to get our space legs. The 2000s will be remembered the century in which private organizations began to plant permanent installments on other worlds and mine the asteroids. Can we begin the process of becoming a Type II civilization when, by many expert accounts, we are not even a Type I? Mars One will at least show that colonizing the planets doesn’t have to be about two rival superpowers competing for national prestige. It can be about business leaders, leading aerospace experts, and average people from all over the world coming together over a common dream.

Michio Kaku Discusses The Types Of Civilizations

Sometimes I do get a little philosophical about the “one-way trip” aspect of it. I know people who act like I’m basically going there to die. No, I’m not. I think of it as moving to a distant place with no plans to ever return to my hometown. I can still send emails to people I want to communicate with. I might even send a video every once in a while. However, it’s just my new home where I have a job and a few friends/co-workers that I share a habitat and resources with. There is no return trip planned, but then, I won’t really need one. By the time they get around to creating Aldrin cyclers that could bring me home, it’s very likely that I’ll think of Mars as home and simply refuse to break the routine I’ve developed for the return to Earth.

An Explanation of the “S1L1 Cycler”

Narrated by Blake A. Rogers of Purdue University

Something I hope to see in my lifetime, but I probably won’t ever catch a ride on one even if I do end up being one of the Mars One colonists.

Do I like my chances? At 165,000 applicants, some of which might have never completed their applications and 20% of which are women, I like to think I have a fair chance. Will I make it? Maybe; I can’t foretell the future. However, I can make the other candidates work for their slots and I can get pretty far if I just make it past the first round.

It’s Been A Long Road…

I’ll probably be singing this song when I arrive on Mars.

Martian Collectibles on eBay

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