Harsh Criticism of Mars One?

I’ve been hearing a lot of criticism of Mars One around the Internet. Bloggers are saying that it’s a hoax, that they’ll never raise the money needed to send colonists to Mars, and that the technology isn’t really there like Mars One is saying. Those of us who think it can be done tend to pay attention only to the valid, constructive criticism and ignore the rest. Sometimes it can be tough, especially when I see criticisms like this one:


Slavery, huh? I went into this figuring that anyone who doesn’t want to colonize Mars wouldn’t plunk down $38 for the application fee or whatever it costs in your country. Even then, you’ll see the guys that couldn’t get past the reality show thing and they’ll back out when they realize it’s not “American Idol”. The rest of us have done our homework, know what we’re getting into and are volunteering for it anyway.

Mars One has received more than 78,000 applications so far. That means they will be spending more effort eliminating people than they are spending on recruiting them in the first place. The ones who didn’t understand exactly what they’re getting into when they applied will likely be the first to go. If you aren’t willing to give up everything for the cause of colonizing Mars, don’t bother applying. It’s hard to see someone who didn’t voluntarily apply lasting long in that kind of environment.

The Recruitment Video

Once the colonists have been selected, they can still back out at any point during training. Nobody’s making them stay. They’ll only have to face the embarrassment of having had to quit on national television and possibly being teased to death by friends and family. Depending on the situation, the quitter might even deserve the humiliation. However, it will be obvious that he’s not a slave of Mars One.

About all I can figure is that the tweeter was misinformed. Even once they’ve landed on Mars, the colonists won’t be slaves. Bas Lansdorp admitted that he can’t do a thing if the colonists decide that they don’t want to be part of a reality show anymore. If they refuse to work, they might well die of lack of food when the crops fail or lack of oxygen when the electrolysis cells go down. However, there’s nobody standing over them with a whip to make them work. The colonists simply saw Mars One as an opportunity to be seized rather than something they were compelled to do.

As far as I’m concerned, the media can criticize all they want, and that included bloggers. They might even stumble on some valid points, like the funding issue. However, I draw the line at the idea that the candidates who actually survive the selection process will be slaves.

Steve Wozniak Elaborates on Mars One

Arm Yourself With Knowledge

Really, the only way to deal with the misinformed is to have your facts straight before you even talk to them. So here’s some books by people who have actually studied the matter of going to Mars for your reading pleasure.