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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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  • If there's one thing Mars doesn't have enough of, it's Legos.
    • If there's one thing Mars doesn't have enough of, it's Legos.

      I thought it was Moms it was out of? Better idea, though: let's find some of the A/C's here and see if they fit.

  • just... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Lichens, moss, fertilizer and a dispersal mechanism.

    • by yanyan ( 302849 )

      Yes, this one! Throw in other, more complex plants and spread them around. Awesome idea.

    • by ecotax ( 303198 )

      Plus some microbes of course, maybe throw in some tardigrades. It just might be enough to start life 2.0, which would be a nice backup and a great achievement.

      Now that we're reasonably sure Mars is barren, I really don't get NASA's "let's not pollute it" attitude anymore.

      • Now that we're reasonably sure Mars is barren

        Who is this "we" who are reasonably sure that Mars is barren? It sure doesn't include me. OK, I'm not a specialist biologist emphasising study of the 5 points which we've measured on Mars (and found lacking in life forms which we recognise, I'll grant), but I am a geologist with a better than normal understanding of the variability of rocks and the habitats that they represent to life forms. People I was at university with have worked on (and published) on some v

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Poppy seeds, if nothing else grows then they can at least have some fun.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @12:01AM (#47436497)

    '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.'"

    Justin Bieber? Miley Cyrus?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd donate to a kickstarter campaign to send Justin Bieber to Mars.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      but we don't want to start an interplanetary war

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by cold fjord ( 826450 )

        If it did start a war it would almost certainly be short. I'm inclined to believe that Martians would immediately surrender under a bombardment like that.

    • 1) Make a reality TV show: Vote Them Off The Planet
      2) Vote people off the planet with one way and return categories. whether for real or not doesn't matter, but if for real you can have the option for people to only do the one way when they want to pay for the return leg.
      3) Profit!
  • by nytes ( 231372 )


  • Microphones (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Electricity Likes Me ( 1098643 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @12:16AM (#47436529)

    I would really like to land a couple of microphones on Mars.

    Some high bandwidth (beyond human hearing) stuff, and some human hearing range stuff. I'd love to know what Mars sounds like.

  • by the_Bionic_lemming ( 446569 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @01:06AM (#47436623)

    If I had the money to buy the mission, I'd send a carved rock to be deployed that would indicate that either John Carter or I owned Mars, and that we would have to sword fight for ownership.

    My guess is that John Carter never made it to Mars, but if he did and and If I had to I could arrange a meeting place and nuke the entire site from orbit. Itâ(TM)s the only way to be sure. Cause I suck at sword fighting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @01:24AM (#47436657)
    Scanning through the Mars One "About Us" page, I see a bunch of people with MAs and blather about their "boldness" and "entrepreneurial spirit". They even list their concept artist and marketing team. Where are the PhDs in aerospace engineering and physics?
  • if MarsOne was in any way legit, nations and orgs would be lining up to get these payloads...Russia, China, ESA, NASA, MIT, UCLA, India, not to mention private companies including mining companies

    i'd put a rover up to test preselected areas...


    have a rover -AND- a craft that detaches in orbit or before that goes an explores a pre-select asteroid

    i saw someone suggest "Lego Mindstorms" above...that's where this is'll be like a Raspberry Pi thing they select

  • Let's send up chimps like we used to. []

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @02:06AM (#47436733)

    The kinds of payloads I would like to see delivered to mars are exactly the kind that the international planetary society would come out of their skins over.

    Waterbears, antarctic algea, and things of that nature.

    Those are lifeforms that could concievably survive indefinatly on mars. (waterbears can live, totally exposed, in the vacuum of space.-- Antarctic algeal forms are able to live in extremely saline conditions just within the first few millimeters of moist rocks, in blisteringly cold temperatures, and engage in active photosynthesis. Together, it is concievable for a highly simplistic, but stable biosphere to be cultivated/initiated on mars.)

    http://antarcticfacts.weebly.c... [] []

    In terms of scientific aparatus-- I would be interested in seeing how stationary wind turbines fare on the red planet. There is no surface vegitation of any kind to restrict or stop basically constant howling winds there, however the low atmospheric pressure may mean that while the wind is blowing with gusto, it packs little "punch". As far as I know, there is little data on the total energy yeild of wind energy on mars-- For a colony, wind energy would present a very attractive option over solar, which would be significantly less total energy per cubic meter than what is attainable on earth, especially when one considers the inefficiency of solar to begin with. Data on how much energy is reasonably able to be extracted, so that ideally sized generation systems can be designed, and data on rates of wind blown particle erosion on those devices would be of considerable value.

    • As you said, the low density of air at Mars might be a problem. The theoretical [] maximum power that can be harvested with a wind turbine is P = 1/2 * rho * A * V^3. Some numbers from Nasa [] show that the density rho is about 1% of the value on Earth, and an average speed of 10 m/s (around 5 Beaufort) is also not exceptional. Finally, you will need a relatively big mechanical device, which is hard to build light and reliable, since it has to survive a rocket launch.
    • Could is suggest Asa Dotzler as a payload? I'm sure most Firefox users would happily chip in to send him there.
    • Neither of your payloads need to go Mars. For the first, all the requisite conditions save gravity can be simulated here on Earth. (And if you must simulate gravity, it will be far cheaper to send a centrifuge to LEO.) For the second, all the requisite data is available and merely awaits someone with a computer and some spare time to write the simulation.

      And that's real science is done - small scale tests and simulations first to determine if it's even worth it to try larger scale experiments. What you

      • Who said anything about the first being an experiment?

        The experiments you proposed (in a test lab, and in LEO) have already been conducted, which is why I suggested THOSE PARTICULAR ORGANISMS. At this point, the only remaining experiment to see if those organisms could indeed survive in that environment is to send them to that environment and see. However, I did not really intend it as an experiment, I intended it as a precolony groundwork initiative. As I said, a simplistic biosphere could be created, whi

        • The experiments you proposed (in a test lab, and in LEO) have already been conducted

          Not in partial G in LEO they haven't.

          As for the latter, There's a reason we are still sending spectrometers and chemistry labs to mars. We can simulate the albedo and density of martian regolith, and to a limited extent, we can also simulate the mean bulk chemical constituents, but that does not mean that the regolith simulants produced in a lab will have the same engineering properties of real martial regolith.

          Did y

          • Not in partial G in LEO they haven't.

            Yes, actually they HAVE.

            Tardigrades in space:

            Algae in space:

            Did you even remember what you wrote? The second "experiment" had to do with wind, not regolith.

            Yes. I Do. Quoted below, with emphasis, because you apparently cannot read.

            Data on how much energy is reasonably able to be extracted, so that ideally sized generation systems can be designed, and data on rates of wind blown particle erosion on those devices would be of considerable value.

            Also, dune migration and wind blown particle accumulation is one of those things, like waves in a large ocean, that is very difficult to model. This is why data from the actual target environment is actually needed, and why I suggested it. The total theoretical energy is indeed calculable by formula using kno

  • Perfect opportunity. He would've loved the idea.

  • BS! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @02:16AM (#47436757)

    Why do news sites keep posting these scammers press releases?! This project is such stupid, pandering bullshit.

  • by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @02:23AM (#47436775)
    The Mars One web site is awfully sketchy about the details. If I had a multi million dollar payload, I'd like to see some more details of the design, especially if they're promising to take heavy payloads to the surface.
  • A Mars landing will cost hundreds of millions, even if these experiment payloads are small. How exactly are they gonna come up with that kind of money? Skimming through TFA didn't reveal any details.

    Is this like, put out a bunch of press releases to get publicity, then hope Paul Allen or some other billionaire will fund it? Because the kind of budget they will need is a wee bit out of Kickstarter territory.

  • Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator
  • Lets start with Congress, they don't seem to be doing anything useful on this planet..

  • Great, now we're going to start spreading our rampant advertising infection to other planets. Is there anywhere advertising can't go?

  • 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).

  • I think you can fit at least two more commas in there.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal