16:12 GMT +326 September 2018
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    Earth and Mars.

    Destination Red Planet: Will Billionaires Fund a Private Mars Colony?

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    With over 1,800 billionaires in the world, a sizeable investment from at least one of them could provide a major push to colonize the Red Planet. For nonprofit organization Mars One, the right wealthy investor could help with their ambitious plan to put man on Mars by 2027.

    Mars One was founded with the goal of eventually colonizing the fourth planet from the Sun. Bas Lansdorp, one of the organization’s co-founders, admitted that such a venture is impossible without huge investments. During a speech at the annual International Mars Society Convention in Washington DC, Lansdorp pointed out that tycoons like Bill Gates are badly needed.

    “That will change everything," he said.

    According to Mars One’s estimates, establishing a settlement of six individuals on the Red Planet by 2027 will cost roughly $6 billion.

    With this new technology Mar One's goals of colonizing Mars may come to pass!
    With this new technology Mar One's goals of colonizing Mars may come to pass!

    To lay the groundwork, the organization plans to launch a communications satellite to remain in Martian orbit, as well as a Mars lander, by 2020. By 2022, a second satellite will be launched, as well as a small rover. In 2024, Mars One hopes to send six cargo ships loaded with all of the equipment necessary for construction of the settlement.

    That same year, two astronauts will be launched to Mars to setup the colony. Four additional people will land on the Red Planet by 2027.

    That’s the plan, at least, according to Mars One's website.

    Experts attending the Mars Society Convention called the proposal “infeasible.” They noted that the cost of creating such a colony would rise dramatically over time. The number of specialists and spare parts required for further development of the colony would also increase constantly.

    According to MIT students Sydney Do and Andrew Owens, every new launch would cost about $4 billion.

    “[T]he Mars One strategy of one-way missions is inherently unsustainable without a Mars-based manufacturing capacity," Owens said, according to Space.com.

    However, Landsorp remains optimistic about the future of the project. He argued that landing human beings on the surface of the moon seemed impossible in 1961, but that mission was completed within just 8 years.

    He did, however, concede that his cost estimates may be too low. But this is a problem he’s prepared to address.

    "Mars One's goal is not to send humans to Mars in 2027 with a $6 billion budget and 14 launches," Landsorp said. "Our goal is to send humans to Mars, period."

    So far, Mars One has a long way to go. The organization is currently struggling to raise the $15 million required for the project’s first stages. But in the near future, Landsopr hopes to attract imaginative investors by staging a huge media event across the globe.

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    Tags:
    funding, colonization, Mars, Mars One, Bill Gates, Washington, DC, United States
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