MIT publishes report warning Mars One hopefuls that death would come quickly

10 Oct 2014

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For the 1,058 remaining Mars hopefuls, worrying news came for their chances of short-term survival after MIT published a detailed scientific report showing how they’ll likely die within two months.

Published online under the title, An Independent Assessment of the Technical Feasibility of the Mars One Mission Plan, the research looked at all aspects needed for the four initial astronauts who will be based as part of the Dutch non-profit mission.

Expected to land on Mars’ surface in 2024, the team are aware that this will be a one-way trip, but if MIT’s research is correct, the lack of native resources to aide in the survival of the astronauts could see the first astronaut fatality occur by day 68 of their trip.

This they attribute to “suffocation from too low an oxygen partial pressure within the environment”, while there would also be an added danger that the molar fraction of the oxygen within their sealed environments would most likely exceed 30pc making it a fire hazard.

A breakdown of the amount of mass that would be needed to travel on each Mars One mission as estimated by the MIT researchers. Image: MIT

In the crews’ attempts to grow their own crops within the same environment they lived in, the temperature would get rather balmy to say the last with a predicted humility level of approximately 100pc.

In their final conclusions of their deep research into the possibility of a successful Mars One mission, the researchers said that “technology development will have to focus on improving the reliability of ECLS systems, the TRL of ISRU systems, and either the capability of Mars in-situ manufacturing and/or the cost of launch. Improving these factors will help to dramatically reduce the mass and cost of Mars settlement architectures.”

Meanwhile, CEO of Mars One, Bas Lansdorp, has spoken out about the new report criticising the researchers’ findings claiming that their “lack of time for support from us combined with their limited experience results in incorrect conclusions.”

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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