The not-for-profit foundation known as Mars One has a plan in place to send the first human beings to the red planet. 

Is there life on Mars? If they have it their way, there will be. 

The plan is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars starting in 2024. Prior to the arrival of people, several other pieces must be put into place. 

In 2018, the launch of a communication satellite will commence. In that same year, the "demonstration mission" begins. The point of this mission is prove that certain technologies will in fact work properly when humans do arrive.

Two years later, a rover vehicle will be launched, with the purpose of finding the ideal location for the future settlement. The rover will be equipped with a trailer that will later be used to transport the landers to the outpost location. The rover’s job isn’t done yet.  It also has the task of clearing the surface for the arrival of cargo and solar panels. Also in 2020, a second communication satellite will be launched to ensure constant communication with the team on Mars and home base, on earth.

Two living units, two life support systems and two supply units will be sent to Mars 2022. A year later, in 2023, if all goes as planned, the rover has infrastructure in place and ready for the arrival of people! In 2024 the ‘Mars One’ crew will be launched into space, 210-days later they will arrive on Mars and begin a new beginning on a new planet.

That’s the plan, anyway.

Many doubters say this ambitious mission is nothing more than science fiction.  ‘Mars One’ projects that a $6-billion budget will be enough to fund the entire expedition.  According to spaceindustrynews.com sources, $15-20-billion will actually be needed.  Even though there is a gap the size of the solar system between those two projections, some think the creative ways Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of ‘Mars One’ has come up with could generate enough revenue to make this dream a reality.  In addition to donations, sponsor contributions and merchandising, Bas plans to make this experience a reality TV show, which could have a global outreach. 

Advertisement for such a show could bring in buku bucks. Lansdorp has also weighed the idea of having rockets and other equipment sponsored.

 As the world turns ... Mars One prepares.

One way ticket to Mars, anyone?

A call went out, world wide for people willing to give up their lives on Earth forever. 

Believe it or not, more than 200,000 answered the call. 

In 2013 applicants from over 140 countries raised their digital hands and got one step closer to becoming space pioneers. 

Twenty-four percent of earth’s willing were Americans. 

In late December of 2013, Mars One narrowed that group to 1,058.

We were interested to find out if any Detroit area folks were in that group.  When I reached out to the foundation with that question, they answered promptly, and yes, the area was well represented. We had the chance to meet with two of the hopefuls recently. 

Juniper Moore and Monty Luke have stars in their eyes, but for the most part still seem pretty grounded.

What’s next?

Both Juniper and Monty are unaware of when they will hear again from the Mars One team --  1,058 needs to be cut to 4, eventually.

We asked Mars One Director of Communications Suzanne Flinkenflögel for more information about the next wave of applicant cuts and about the status of the mission - if it’s on track and on schedule.  She did not answer those questions, but instead referred us to their website, mars-one.com.

The final frontier’s explorers are ready and waiting. Let the countdown begin.