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Is it realistic to immigrate to Mars?

(People's Daily Online)

16:46, May 20, 2013

The Mars One Project conducted by a Dutch non-profit organization has begun to recruit people worldwide recently for settlement on Mars. Anyone over 18 years old with corrected visual acuity measured 1.0 can apply to join the project. This organization plans to select two men and two women to settle on Mars after necessary training.

The Mars One Project team has already received 80,000 applications from 120 countries in the world within one month, most of which are from China and United States. However, experts thought it is only a commercial exploitation without operability.

The Mars One Project has signed a contract with a U.S. space company, which is responsible for developing life support system and space suit for Mars immigrants. The project team will buy spacecraft from U.S. space technology organization. After four rounds of selection, the candidates will start a seven-year isolated training to learn survival skill on Mars from 2015. The final four will win the ticket to Mars on 2022. It will take about 6 billion U.S. dollars for the settlement on Mars.

Pang Zhihao, a space expert from Beijing, said the seemingly rigorous plan is with little operability. Landing on Mars needs all parties’ cooperation and enormous funding.

The moon is 380,000 kilometers away from the earth and the closest distance from the earth to Mars is 50 million kilometers. Distance is not the only difficulty for landing on Mars. In fact, technical difficulties are much more important than the capital problem.

Zhang Chongfeng, an expert from Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, said in the first place heavy-lift launch vehicle needs to be developed. Although the United States is developing the heavy-lift launch vehicle but there is no specific timetable released. Although launch vehicle with nuclear-powered engine is expected to solve the problem, the problem of nuclear radiation cannot be solved. Aboard a nuclear-powered carrier rocket is equivalent to take X-ray scan eight times a day.

The long time space flight will result in decalcification and muscular atrophy. The artificial gravity technology which can solve abovementioned problems is unable to be put into use yet. Pang said on the long journey to Mars, there is severe cosmic radiation, which is a big challenge to the Mars immigrants.

Edited and translated by Ma Xi, People's Daily Online
Read the Chinese version: 移民火星靠谱吗?
Source:Jiefang Daily

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