VID: NASA Says Mars One Ain't Going Nowhere Without Their Help

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Mars One—the Danish non-profit with the goal of sending humans on a one-way trip to Mars—made waves earlier this year when 100 finalists were selected from a pool of 200,000 candidates

Since the announcement, the program has been plagued with criticism over it's financing and proposed timeline. One astrophysicist that made the final cut went so far as to say that the whole thing was a giant scam to get money and sponsorships. 

This week, NASA added to the growing skepticism of the project when it's chief administrator Charles Bolden told a House Committee hearing that "No commercial company without the support of NASA and government is going to get to Mars."

While the Mars One project may prove to be unfeasible, Bolden's comment ignores the fact that space exploration is moving away from government control and toward startups like SpaceX, which has been able to bring private enterprise to space exploration. 

Reason TV recently sat down with a Mars One finalist to talk about the opportunities of private space exploration and why she's willing to give her life to travel to Mars. Produced by Paul Detrick. Approximately 4 minutes. Original release date was April 8, 2015 and the original writeup is below. 

Ever wanted to go to Mars? People have fantasized about what it may be like for decades.

"Everybody thought the idea was crazy," says filmmaker Mead McCormick, one of the 100 finalists chosen to go to the red planet through the Mars One mission. "I sincerely did not think it was a crazy idea, so I thought that probably meant I should apply."

Mars One is the Danish non-profit that hopes to fund a human mission to Mars through billions of dollars worth of media deals and sponsorships. The idea is that four humans will start a settlement and live the rest of their lives there, with more humans to follow later.

"I think a big part of the mission itself and the Mars One program […] is to inspire humanity, and I think exploration does that," says McCormick, who also says that a mission to Mars would be similar to the harsh winters and isolated existence of explorers of the new world. "It broadens our horizons, it makes us learn new perspectives and new ways of thinking about what we know."

If you've been following the news about Mars One, you know that the non-profit has garnered criticism lately over its applicant pool, technical capabilities, and funding. CEO Bas Lansdorp responded to criticism in a YouTube video, defending the program and announcing that the project would be delayed by two years

Approximately 3:30 minutes.

Produced by Paul Detrick. Shot by Alexis Garcia.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to get notified when new material goes live.

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  1. This week, NASA added to the growing skepticism of the project when it’s chief administrator Charles Bolden told a House Committee hearing that “No commercial company without the support of NASA and government is going to get to Mars.”

    Just when you thought you could get away. They’ve already precluded space as the last frontier:

    In addition, Article VI states:

    The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.

    But fuck these assholes. Space needs not just intrepid, but also seditious people.

    1. We need space vikings.

      1. For every H. Beam Piper reference you are required to drink one highball in his honor.

    2. Do you think they’ll attempt to collect taxes on these peeps after they leave?

      1. Hopefully they will get paid in giant moon rocks.

        1. Ignignokt: Your roommate is a nerd.

          Err: Yes, on the moon nerds get their pants pulled down and they are spanked with moon rocks.

      2. They’ll establish a Galactic FACTA

        1. Wait, is that what Galaga was about? It was a warning!

    3. That space treaty is awful commie bullshit. I wonder if it will ever be repealed or if people will just ignore it.

      1. I would guess it could be safely ignored.

        “You want us Lunarians to pay your Earth taxes? Come get them, we’ll be waiting.”

        The only problem I can think of is if your company is still based on Earth.

        1. Ignignokt: Hello, Carl, I am Ignignokt and this is Err.

          Err: I am Err.

          Ignignokt: We are Mooninites from the inner core of the moon.

          Err: You said it right.

          Ignignokt: Our race is hundreds of years beyond yours.

          Err: Man, you hear what he’s saying?

          Ignignokt: Some would say that the Earth is our moon.

          Err: We’re the moon.

          Ignignokt: But that would belittle the name of our moon, which is: The Moon.

          Err: Point is: we’re at the center, not you.

          Carl: No, the real point is: I don’t give a damn.

    4. Well, Charles Bolden, they sure as hell are not going to get there WITH Nasa’s help, since you luddites have been stuck in low orbit for 50 fucking years.

      1. they sure as hell are not going to get there WITH Nasa’s help

        Well, they might get most of the way there…

        They’d spend all the money only to burn up in the atmosphere because NASA engineers don’t know the difference between meters and feet.

      2. Apollo 17 flew in December 1972, so 42 years, four months.

        /space nerd

  2. While the Mars One project may prove to be unfeasible, Bolden’s comment ignores the fact that space exploration is moving away from government control and toward startups like SpaceX, which has been able to bring private enterprise to space exploration.

    And clearly the billions in contracts from NASA, the Air Force, and the DOD that comprise almost all of SpaceX’s revenue don’t count as “the support of NASA and government”.

    1. It does look like most of their success (or revenue, at least) so far is coming from that sort of thing. Hopefully we will start to see more private space activity. But it will be hard to claim it as a free market success.
      I still think it’s good. If the government is going to blow a bunch of money on space stuff, using private contractors seems like it should be more efficient and be better in terms of innovation and new applications.

      1. I agree having private companies build the rockets instead of the government is preferable, but all of our space launch vehicles have been built by contractors. So it’s not clear to me how, at this point, SpaceX is more commercial than the shuttle or an Atlas rocket.

        1. It’s technically not, but I suppose one difference is that SpaceX is actually trying to develop some kind of commercial model with what they’re doing, whereas, say, Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics or whoever built the previous rockets were solely doing so for the government payoff with no plans to commercialize, say, a Saturn rocket.

          But overall, it’s still government funding, and that’s why they feel comfortable here stating that no one is going to Mars without their approval. And that’s the way they want it.

        2. It’s more commercial than the shuttle at least because congress loaded the shuttle program with a lot of BS requirements and then made NASA build the design proposal that was the least expensive to build but most expensive to operate. Since the shuttle was the first reusable space vehicle, it was hyped as the replacement for all unmanned rockets because a reusable vehicle was going to be so much cheaper. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way.

          The government also, for a time, forced the DoD to use the shuttle to launch their satellites, utterly absurd because there is just no need to use a manned vehicle if all you’re doing is deploying satellites.

          Those requirements went out the window after the Challenger incident, but the DoD had satellites designed for the shuttle’s cargo bay that were too far along in the design phase to change at the time that happened. This is why in the late 80’s and early 90’s there were several shuttle missions whose main purpose is classified. (Though we can safely assume they were deploying DoD satellites.)

        3. I highly recommend astronaut R. Mike Mullane’s autobiography “Riding Rockets” for further reading. He loved the experience of flying in space and being an astronaut, but the book includes many very frank discussions of the politics and pitfalls of the shuttle program.

          To the shuttle’s credit, however, it did provide a great platform for performing certain kinds of work in space, such as satellite repair and maintenance (Hubble and Solar Max) and construction of the space station (ignoring for the moment that that’s a boondoggle of a whole different kind). I think a robust space transportation system would include both a shuttle type vehicle for doing this kind of work as well as a throwaway capsule vehicle when you just need to move men and/or cargo up and down.

  3. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
    Go to tech tab for work detail ????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

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