Dutch firm plans to set up human colony on Mars by 2023

A company from the Netherlands is planning to send four astronauts on a trip to Mars to set up a human colony in 2023.

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2013, 11:52 AM IST

London: A company from the Netherlands is planning to send four astronauts on a trip to Mars to set up a human colony in 2023.

Though the company, Mars One, is optimistic about its plan, there are a couple of serious snags, according to the Guardian.

Firstly, when on Mars their bodies will have to adapt to surface gravity that is 38 percent of that on Earth. It is thought that this would cause such a total physiological change in their bone density, muscle strength and circulation that voyagers would no longer be able to survive in Earth`s conditions. Secondly, and directly related to the first, they will have to say goodbye to all their family and friends, as the deal doesn`t include a return ticket.

The Mars One website states that a return "cannot be anticipated nor expected," the paper stated.

To return, they would need a fully assembled and fuelled rocket capable of escaping the gravitational field of Mars, on-board life support systems capable of up to a seven-month voyage and the capacity either to dock with a space station orbiting Earth or perform a safe re-entry and landing.

Despite the health risks, the project has already had 10,000 applicants, according to the company`s medical director, Norbert Kraft.

Founded in 2010 by Bas Lansdorp, an engineer, Mars One said it has developed a realistic road map and financing plan for the project based on existing technologies and that the mission is perfectly feasible.

The website states that the basic elements required for life are already present on the planet. For instance, water can be extracted from ice in the soil and Mars has sources of nitrogen, the primary element in the air we breathe. The colony will be powered by specially adapted solar panels, it added.

The project will cost a reported 6bn dollars, a sum Lansdorp has said he hopes will be met partly by selling broadcasting rights.

The company`s website asserted that the aim is to establish a permanent human colony.

The first team would land on the surface of Mars in 2023 to begin constructing the colony, with a team of four astronauts every two years after that.