Netherlands-based company Mars One will attempt to land humans on the surface of Mars by 2023, officials announced earlier this year. Now, they say, the first sponsors for this ambitious endeavor have been brought on board.
Mars One has a step-by-step program for colonizing Mars, which culminates with landing the first four human astronauts on the Red Planet in April 2023. The company plans to sponsor the event by turning it into a media spectacle.
In other words, it will be a reality show of sorts. Everyone will be able to tune in and observe the project as it develops, and then track all that is happening on the Martian surface, before and after the crew arrives.
Last week, the company received its first funds from sponsors, marking an important milestone and step forward in exploring the Red Planet. Letters of interest have already been received from numerous aerospace companies around the world, including California-based SpaceX and Thales Alenia Space.
“A little more than a year ago we embarked down this path, calling upon industry experts to share in our bold dream. Today, we have moved from a technical plan into the first stage of funding, giving our dream a foundation in reality,” says the founder and president of Mars One, Bas Lansdorp.
Dutch Internet/Webhosting provider Byte Internet, Dutch law firm VBC Notarissen, Dutch consulting company MeetIn, New-Energy.tv and Australian company Dejan SEO are among the first sponsors.
“Mars One is not just a daring project, but the core of what drives human spirit towards exploration of the unknown. We are privileged to be a supporter of this incredible project,” Dejan SEO General Director, Dan Petrovic, says.
The timeline for the mission is very complex, but straightforward. The first group of astronauts will be selected next year, when a mockup of the future Mars settlement will also be constructed. In 2014, the first communication satellite will be produced, ahead of a 2016 launch date.
About 2.5 tons of food will also launch towards Mars at that time, aboard a modified SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule. Two years later, a large rover will be delivered to our neighboring world, with the express purpose of searching for a suitable location to land future missions.
Two living units, two life support units and two supply units will launch on six Dragon capsules in 2021, together with another rover. The latter will assist the first robot in setting up the base. The first four astronauts will launch in 2022, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
After arriving on Mars in a manned Dragon capsule, they will be joined by the second group of astronauts, in 2025. According to Mars One officials, by 2033, the colony will number 20 settlers, Space