Yet Another Scientist Calls Mars One Mission 'Unfeasible' and 'Unsustainable'

Thursday, 03 September 2015 - 11:20AM
Thursday, 03 September 2015 - 11:20AM
Yet Another Scientist Calls Mars One Mission 'Unfeasible' and 'Unsustainable'
MIT has been looking into the feasibility of Mars One for quite some time now, and they have several objections to the mission. Most notably, they claimed that the organization's failure to take excess oxygen into account would lead to the settlers suffocating to death within the first 68 days on Mars. But the other primary objection has been the lack of funding, and now, MIT researcher Sydney Do claims that the mission is "inherently unsustainable" and "unfeasible," since resupply costs would become prohibitive.



Mars One is a nonprofit in the Netherlands that is attempting to land the first humans on Mars and establish a permanent Martian settlement by 2027. One hundred finalists were picked for the one-way mission to the Red Planet, but the organization has since stopped initial robotic studies following pervasive rumors that they were not sufficiently technologically advanced and that they did not have sufficient funding.

In the above video, Do claims that while "the goal of making humans an interplanetary species is a very noble one," the mission as advertised is simply not realistic, if only as a result of the cost. 

Opening quote
"It gets more and more expensive over time, and... the technology that is required is just not there yet."
Closing quote


Getting humans to Mars is expensive enough, but sustaining their lives over the next several decades is impossible, according to Do. With the technologies we have now, the settlers would not be able to sustain a community without help from Earth, and as more people were added to the settlement, that help from Earth would need to come more and more often.

Opening quote
"A one-way mission inherently goes on forever, so as soon as the crew members land on the surface, you have to keep them alive for 50 to 70 years or however long you expect them to live. To keep the systems going, you need to continually send spare parts to the surface of Mars over time... [And] Mars One wants to add more and more people to the surface of Mars at every launch opportunity, and as you add more people you need more technology to keep them alive, and if you have more technologies, you need more spare parts, and more spare parts means more rocket launches from Earth, which drives up your cost."
Closing quote


Do doesn't discount the notion of humans traveling to Mars in general, however, as he states that there are other mission concepts that are more feasible, such as NASA's Mission to Mars. NASA plans to land a manned mission on the Red Planet in the 2030's, while a permanent settlement is still very much in the "distant future" category.
Science
NASA

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