Mars One is essentially a reality show posing as space mission to establish a human colony on Mars. It’s kind of a joke, so it’s only fitting that comedian Lauren Reeves‘ submission to join the mission has beat out thousands of others and is still in consideration.
The Dutch non-profit that’s raising funds for the Mars One mission is doing so by collecting submission fees from would-be astronauts, and by turning the search process and training into a reality television event. They’ve managed to get more than 200,000 applicants, including Reeves, whose video (above) is pretty obviously satirical. Nonetheless it’s gotten her through a few rounds of cuts as the Mars One team winnows down its applicant pool.
There are currently only 705 applicants remaining, with Reeves being one of them. According to Mars One’s plan, that number will be cut down to between 28 and 45 finalists by next year. Those finalists will be sorted into teams of four and begin the training to become the first human martians. One of those teams will be selected as the team that Mars One claims will be sent to Mars.
As for how Mars One plans to actually send humans to Mars, build a colony there, and keep those people alive, they’re leaving that up to companies like SpaceX and Lockheed Martin to do the actual work. Mars One lists these and several other companies as “potential suppliers” on their website. In Reeves’ video she mentions that this is a NASA mission several times, but they’re in no way involved. Though NASA is working on several proposals of their own to send humans to Mars.
There are serious hurdles that currently prevent humans from traveling to Mars, and the Mars One mission doesn’t fully address any of them — except the return trip. It’s easier to send one-way missions to Mars, since launching off the planet to return home would require much more energy than simply getting there, so the Mars One astronauts would live out the rest of their lives on the Red Planet — if they ever get there… which they won’t.
So while Reeves has as good a chance as any of the other 704 contestants of making it to the final round, there are a lot of challenges that have to be met before this mission actually gets off the ground, let alone out of the atmosphere and to another planet.
- 78,000 people signed up in the first two weeks on Mars One
- In December they cut the applicants down to 1,058 people
- An all-girl rocket team visited the White House this week