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Mars (One) Needs Payloads 77

mbone (558574) writes Mars One has announced that their first, unmanned, lander, targeted for 2018, needs payloads. Along with their 4 experiments, and a University experiment, they have two payloads for hire: "Mars One offers two payload opportunities for paying mission contributors. Proposals can take the form of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations, marketing and publicity campaigns, or any other suggested payload. 'Previously, the only payloads that have landed on Mars are those which NASA has selected,' said Bas Lansdorp, 'We want to open up the opportunity to the entire world to participate in our mission to Mars by sending a certain payload to the surface of Mars.'" The formal Request for Proposals for all of this is out now as well.
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Mars (One) Needs Payloads

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  • by tgv ( 254536 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @03:04AM (#47436849) Journal

    When are people going to stop paying attention to these clowns? How are they going to launch in 4 years without having working prototypes right now, nor a lot of money? Or are they going to sell 100M mugs in the coming months?

  • Life on Mars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @10:44AM (#47437801) Homepage Journal

    I'm somewhat pleasantly surprised at the number of posts suggesting that we send living things to Mars, but also concerned that no one is suggesting some caution. Those who know a little about the history of bacterial discovery should know that it is fiendishly difficult to test for the presence of life, even here on Earth with organisms we are rather familiar with. Some bacteria we only know about because they showed up on DNA fishing expeditions, even though they've been under our feet the whole time. There could be bacteria under our feet we don't know about, if it either wasn't DNA/RNA based, or if it had sufficiently aggressive DNA/RNA hydrolysis enzymes, or had a sufficiently small geographic distribution.

    As I understand it, we're still at the point that if Mars can sustain life we can't ascertain whether it has any. (And if it can't sustain life, there's no point in sending some to die.) Even if there's no life on Mars, there's still the fact that we don't know much about what an abiotic planet looks like. Studying a properly dead planet will help us in our future search for life.

    Furthermore, I'm not certain we want to send photosynthetic organisms there for terraforming purposes, given that we need to increase greenhouse gasses like CO2 there to warm the place. (Also, we don't think the surface is survivable, and the sub-surface has less light -- so if we want surviving life, we should send chemotrophs).

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.