Mars One, the Netherlands-based not-for-profit that hopes to send human pioneers to Mars utilizing private-industry rockets has been generally reprimanded for its improbable objectives and timetable. This week, in a U.S. House Committee hearing for NASA’s 2016 financial plan, NASA chief administrator Charles Bolden told the panel that “No commercial company without the support of NASA and government is going to get to Mars,“ Bolden’s announcement, while not a direct reference to Mars One, absolutely appears to support the skepticism encompassing the project, crushing the hope of quite a few people.
In the budget committee hearing, Bolden said that in a manned mission to Mars there is still a need for NASA, with the following unmanned robotic rover mission planned to be dispatched in 2020. He is not the only one planning on organizing Mars One: Elon Musk has been pushing for the manned colonization of Mars for quite a while. People must be a multiplanet species, Musk demands. Musk’s affirmation is half optimistic, half practical. Without precedent, for about 4 billion years, humankind has a window to investigate outside Earth, and there is no telling to what extent that window will be open, Musk told The Guardian. Anyway, having the capacity to spread out from Earth will likewise give humankind the opportunity to evade decimation by our hands or from an outside cataclysm: As one author put it, Musk sees Mars colonization as extinction protection.
There is significantly more on the table inside NASA’s proposed spending plan, including two pieces to the Mars puzzle: the Space Launch System rocket family, slated for launch availability in November 2018, and the Orion team case, which had its first fruitful unmanned test in December 2014 however is not anticipated to make manned flights until 2021, says The New York Times.
Whether anything will come of Mars One’s efforts is still to be seen: will it be the flop of the century or the windows of opportunity?