The Countdown Begins to the First Human Colony on Mars

The first humans who will live on Mars are alive today, according to Dutch company Mars One. Their ambitious plan is to begin the first colony on the red planet in 2023 with four astronauts who will forever say goodbye to the planet of their birth. Privately-funded Mars One will begin the mission by sending out rovers which will construct the living quarters for the colonists. In late 2022, four lucky astronauts will begin the journey to their new home, arriving seven months later to become permanent residents. Every two years after that, two more colonists will make the trip, expanding the colony, bringing supplies and enlarging the available gene pool for future generations.

Mars One plans to rely on a rather novel fundraising method to finance this long-running mission: the world’s first space reality show. The entire population of Planet Earth will be transfixed, according to the company, on the trials and successes of the newly-formed colony. Because the mission is fraught with the unknown and the constant possibility of danger, there will be no need for the scripted drama or “challenges” presented on Earth-bound reality TV. The company will begin selecting potential colonists beginning on 2013, kicking off an entire decade of training and preparation for the lucky few who will one day go where no human has gone before.

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See more in Space & Time or under Science. June, 2012.