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Mars Science

Over 1000 Volunteers For 'Suicide' Mission To Mars 453

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the i-want-out dept.
New submitter thAMESresearcher writes with a few updates on Mars One: "The Dutch company Mars One is organizing a one way mission to Mars 2023. In a press release that came out today, they say they have over a thousand applicants already. In the press release they also mention that they are now a not-for-profit Foundation. It sounds ambitious, but they have a Nobel prize winner, an astronaut, and several people from NASA on their board." The actual selection process starts early next year.
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Over 1000 Volunteers For 'Suicide' Mission To Mars

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:35AM (#42191381)

    "We've carefully reviewed the 1,000 candidates who volunteered online and have put together a team of our finest candidates," said Mars One head Bas Lansdorp:

    Captain:
    Jack Meov

    Pilots:
    Bob A. Booey
    Ivana Bloweau

    Mission specialists:
    Mike Hunt
    Jean Luc Picard
    George Washington
    Richard Flair, N.B.

  • by Vexler (127353) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:37AM (#42191403) Journal

    ...and we can call this mission "Outbound Flight".

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:41AM (#42191437) Homepage

    The thing about suicide missions most people aren't considering is body disposal. There must be an effective and sanitary means of handling the body. It would be nice if they could make soylent green, but at the very least there should be a device which would render a body as "gone" in a clean and sanitary manner. A body disposal bot would be pretty ideal... "bring out your dead... bring out your dead..."

    Anyway, I'd be all for it. I have produced three viable offspring and don't plan to produce more. If departure is within the next 20 years, I'll be a perfect candidate for such a mission... I doubt my wife would agree though.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:47AM (#42191537)

      I'll be a perfect candidate for such a mission... I doubt my wife would agree though.

      Au contraire. Just last night she was telling me that she'd do anything to get rid of you.

      I'm pretty sure she'd be a for shooting you at Mars.

    • by trout007 (975317) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:48AM (#42191551)

      On Mars it's known as Outside.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:01AM (#42191707) Journal

      The thing about suicide missions most people aren't considering is body disposal. There must be an effective and sanitary means of handling the body. It would be nice if they could make soylent green, but at the very least there should be a device which would render a body as "gone" in a clean and sanitary manner.

      Deathstills, clearly. A man's flesh is his own, his water belongs to the other astronauts.

    • by olau (314197)

      Perhaps your children wouldn't agree either?

      • by erroneus (253617)

        My children understand me better than my wife does. They are a lot like me in most respects. I see life as a whole bunch of comings and goings. We only "mourn" when we have a body and a certainty that the last time has passed. We don't freak out when we part ways after lunch even if in reality, that might be the last time you see someone alive! So when you take it apart, you realize that the mechanism is based in no small part on the notion that it is final.

        I would continue to be able to interact with

    • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:20PM (#42192567)

      After you die, there should be a mechanism in the spacecraft to expose you directly and slowly to the vacuum of space. You should be frozen and preserved as best as you can be. Then the ship should gently deposit you on the surface of Mars as intact as you could possibly be. Why?

      What if there is an event on Earth like the flame deluge from A Canticle for Leibowitz? A nuclear event where 99% of the world is destroyed and thousands of years later we rediscover science?

      Just imagine how surprised they will be to find a human skull on Mars.

      • After you die, there should be a mechanism in the spacecraft to expose you directly and slowly to the vacuum of space. You should be frozen and preserved as best as you can be. Then the ship should gently deposit you on the surface of Mars as intact as you could possibly be. Why?

        What if there is an event on Earth like the flame deluge from A Canticle for Leibowitz? A nuclear event where 99% of the world is destroyed and thousands of years later we rediscover science?

        Just imagine how surprised they will be to find a human skull on Mars.

        OOH, and make sure they position the first body in the "Han Solo frozen in carbonite" pose prior to freezing!

        Nothing like a thousand year old inside joke!

    • by Andrio (2580551)
      Here's an interesting thought. Should dead bodies have some kind of long-lasting metal tag to indicate that they were not native of the planet? Perhaps a simple diagram that indicates that this fossilized skeleton found is from the third planet from the sun, not the fourth?

      Thousands, maybe millions of years from now the skeletons of these people may be found by non-human creatures (be it from Earth or from another planet). I'm sure they would have an appreciation of truly knowing the origin of these skeleto
  • by MADCOWbeserk (515545) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:44AM (#42191477)
    I wouldn't be surprised if lots of guys didn't just volunteer their ex-wives.
    • made me think of a quote from the new Star Trek movie.

      "My Ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I have left are my bones."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hymie! (95907)

        "My Ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I have left are my bones."

        That quote was one of the many many reasons I hated that movie. "Gee, we need to force a perfectly reasonable medical nickname onto this character. Is this mallet large enough?"

        • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:06PM (#42192441)
          from wikipedia: McCoy was born in 2227. [2] The son of David, [4]:257-258 he attended the University of Mississippi [2] and is a divorcé. [5] In 2266, McCoy was posted as chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk who calls him "Bones". [2] McCoy and Kirk are good friends, even "brotherly". [4]:146 The passionate, sometimes cantankerous McCoy frequently argues with Kirk's other confidant, science officer Spock, [1] and occasionally is bigoted toward Spock's Vulcan heritage. [6] McCoy often plays the role of Kirk's conscience, offering a counterpoint to Spock's logic. [1] McCoy is suspicious of technology, [7] especially the transporter; [2] as a physician, he prefers less intrusive treatment and believes in the body's innate recuperative powers. [1]

          The character's nickname, "Bones", is a play on sawbones, an epithet for physicians, [8] in particular, those qualified as surgeons. [9] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_McCoy#section_1 [wikipedia.org]

          A sawbones is a slang term used to describe a physician, and more specifically a surgeon, especially one who would have served in battle. The term is often tied to the Civil War, but in fact predates it. Dickens uses it to refer to a doctor in the 1837 novel Pickwick Papers which suggests common use of the expression at least 20 years prior to usage during the American Civil War. http://m.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-sawbones.htm [wisegeek.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:48AM (#42191553)

    How many of those 1.000 candidates are telephone sanitizers?

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:51AM (#42191585)

    Shooting random volunteers on a one-way trip to Mars so they can Make a reality there? Sounds like a scam to me.

  • I'd go, but only if they offered reliable broadband internet access. (I'll put up with the latency as one of those facts-of-physics thangs.)

    • Re:one condition (Score:5, Informative)

      by codewarren (927270) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:05AM (#42191755)

      This isn't 30 second latency we're talking about. When mars is furthest from earth, best case latency is a whopping 42 minutes. That means after you click a link, the very best case is that there are 42 minutes before you get a reply.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:33AM (#42192051)

        so like comcast then?

  • Hmmmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:52AM (#42191603)
    And yet when my company kills people as a cost cutting measure, ohhhh, suddenly that's illegal, lol.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:00AM (#42191695) Homepage

    "SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to create a colony on Mars consisting of a population of 80,000, ferried to the planet in a reusable rocket. For the initial trip, the rocket would contain fewer than 10 humans, and enough equipment to found a colony ready for the other 79,990."

    http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-11/what-do-we-know-about-elon-musks-plan-mars-colony [popsci.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:01AM (#42191697)

    Am I the only one who misread it as "The natural selection process starts early next year"?

  • by madhatter256 (443326) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:07AM (#42191779)

    If you're in Mars doing a one-way mission with no hopes of returning. What would you do before you died?

    I'd make an effort to fuck with people's minds in the future.

    I would make an elaborate treasure map of ancient alien civilizations in areas that are suitable for future human settlements. That way when people find my map and realize a government building is built on a location that apparently has ancient alien bones, treasure, etc., they think it was a government conspiracy or cover up and madness will ensue (but I'll be laughing from the heavans).

    I would look for a cave and set up fake cave paintings like Prometheus pointing towards the Sun. That way they may send some poor sap to go explore the sun for possible clues (and possibly make great discoveries along the way) but in the end a lot of people will die because the Sun is really dangerous.

    And the day I will fall to near death I will walk as far as I can, fall flat on my face, break my protective suit and have my right arm point in some arbitrary direction, so when rigormortous kicks in, my arm stays in that position. That way people will wonder what the hell I was pointing at.

    I guess I want to be an asshole astronaut lol.

    • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:23AM (#42191941) Homepage

      Walk backwards for several miles from a crack in the rock. Some future explorer will follow that trail and think I disappeared.

      Leave any colony in a state like the LV-426 colony, just for the laughs. A little-known, ugly-looking, smuggled Earth creature stuck in a specimen jar for bonus points.

      Sketch out a Turing machine calculating flight trajectories in the dust on the ground, just for the hell of it.

      Hunt down the Mars Rovers and turn them into Roomba's. Bonus points for making it look like Wall-E.

      Write "Beware of the...." in the sand before I die.

    • by Krneki (1192201)

      Create a script to post random stuff on Facebook/tweet/email ad infinitum.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:08AM (#42191787) Homepage Journal

    We keep hearing about how banks, firms, etc. that were "too big to fail" have ...failed.

    Then we hear about how humanity is now global and the future is bright. Are we too big to fail, and thus prone to failure?

    The interest in Mars seems less about exploration and more about looking for another planet to inhabit. Taken as a whole, this one may be about done, or rather, the human civilizations on it appear to be teetering over the precipice of internal disaster.

  • ..Suicide? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:16AM (#42191869)

    Suicide? More like immortality.

    The greatest privilege I can imagine is the chance to live out your years on a frontier, working your fingers to the bone every day to up the survival chances for everyone else. It would be a rough haul, that's for sure - but like bacteria, you'd dying to prepare the ground for later life.

    • You live on a planet for awhile and die there. In this case it will be on Mars. I don't see why this is being dubbed a "suicide mission".
  • by liquidweaver (1988660) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:17AM (#42191881)

    Lets assume they establish a viable colony on Mars, which is so successful it outlives the parent company. Whose responsibility is it then? The Dutch government?
    Will they have a virtual seat at the UN?
    What about laws with clear legal language that specify the "earth". "globally", etc... will those laws apply to Mars?
    If a martian worker wants to telework in the US, will they require a visa or some sort of space permit?

  • It's a suicide mission if the intent is to kill them. It's a one-way trip if the intent is to live there.

    • Intent is all a matter of perspective. If it were a one way trip to the Sun, or even the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, it would still be a suicide mission.

  • by machinelou (1119861) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:26AM (#42191977)
    Newsflash: Rest of Earth's population chooses 'suicide' mission at home.
  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:32AM (#42192047)
    Either there should be no lawyers among the 80,000 or they should ALL be. One group stands a chance of establishing a utopian society, the other would, at least, be doing all us earthlings a huge favour.
  • by Wdi (142463) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:49AM (#42192233)

    They are now starting the astronaut selection program for a trip in 10 years, but there is no indication whatever that they are concerned about the much more fundamental task of designing a transport ship?!?! Really, really suspicious. What are the prospects supposed to train on/for ?

    "People in thirty seven countries have purchased our merchandise, demonstrating their support for Mars One"

    OK, I understand. Presumably the foundation managers are well paid. That is no problem even for a non-profit.

    • They are now starting the astronaut selection program for a trip in 10 years, but there is no indication whatever that they are concerned about the much more fundamental task of designing a transport ship?!?! Really, really suspicious. What are the prospects supposed to train on/for ?

      "People in thirty seven countries have purchased our merchandise, demonstrating their support for Mars One"

      OK, I understand. Presumably the foundation managers are well paid. That is no problem even for a non-profit.

      Best "against" comment, by a long shot.

      Most rational, too.

    • by Monty845 (739787)
      That isn't even the biggest issue for me. There are several key challenges a real attempt would face, and little to nothing is said about them. 1. Money - Not even considering design, construction or training, and even presuming future price reductions in orbital launch, the launch costs would run north of $100M, and likely much more. Yet almost nothing is said of how that or anything else would be funded 2. Radiation - Both during the trip to Mars, and while on the surface, the crew would be exposed to s
  • by Squidlips (1206004) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:34PM (#42192707)
    Mars is??? If you returned any of these colonists back to Earth and plunked them down in the worst place you could find such as a dry valley in Antarctica or the top of K2/Everest, they would think they were in paradise.
  • by hazem (472289) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:53PM (#42192967) Journal

    Nearl all but 1,000 humans volunteer for a suicide mission to remain on Earth.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:08PM (#42193149) Homepage
    This is entertainment, please treat it as such.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:10PM (#42193167) Homepage

    I highly recommend it. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, by Mary Roach, really tells you everything you wanted to know about space travel but were afraid to ask. In fact it tells you things you never even thought to ask about. Like "What really does happen to clothing that is kept in contact with skin without being changed, for weeks?" Like "When they see a turd floating through the cabin, due to someone's carelessness, how do astronauts handle the situation?"

    After reading that book, I asked myself the question, "Well, if you won a free all-expenses-paid monthlong trip to the International Space Station, would you accept?" And my honest answer is... I... am... not... sure.

    So, my hat's off to those who volunteered, and I hope they have thought it through. Not just the suicide part, but what comes before. Because it sounds like being homeless and living in a car, only not as comfortable.

  • by whitroth (9367) <whitroth.5-cent@us> on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:56PM (#42193761) Homepage

    A dozen years, I'd have been overwhelmed in my desire to go by all the other slashdotters asking where to sign up. These days, too many of the assholes who used to come out of alt.syntax.tactical....

                    mark, probably too old to be accepted, dammit

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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