When Will Humans Live on Mars?

When Will Humans Live on Mars?

2014, Science  -   69 Comments
Ratings: 7.39/10 from 97 users.

Up until very recently, space travel and exploration has been an activity that only government-funded mega-ventures have been capable of taking part in - organizations like NASA. Advancements in aeronautics and space engineering have opened the door for private companies to enter this arena, and VICE spinoff Motherboard's film When Will Humans Live on Mars? profiles some of the leading companies working to make space more accessible.

As has often been the case throughout history, the drive to make a buck is the primary intent of what the filmmakers coin "Space 2.0." The first company they look to is a Netherlands-based non-profit organization called Mars One, whose objective is to be the first private company to colonize mars. Founded in 2011, they have already begun taking applications (over 200,000 individuals applied) for the settler positions that must be comfortable with the idea they will be heading to Mars for the rest of their lives - Mars One has no intention of shuttling anyone back to Earth. As with most startup companies, the biggest hurdle for the business was financing what is a wildly expensive business objective - space travel.

CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp was unsure of how to approach this problem at first, but after discovering that the Olympic games generated more than $1 billion a day in revenue, it dawned on him that the world's eyeballs being universally directed towards a grand spectacle is capable of generating tremendous revenue. So, Mars One will also be a reality television show that follows those space pioneers chosen in their preparation for, journey to, and struggle to colonize the red planet.

The film then turns to space tourism and Spaceport America, a private space flight facility located in a remote desert region of Jornada Del Muerto, New Mexico. Private space flight leaders Virgin Galactic and Space X are existing tenants, amongst a number of other private companies, of a facility poised to be one of many destinations worldwide that will act as gateways for private space travel much like airports do for plane travel.

NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California is next up, where many of the private companies seeking to exploit the industrial resources of space are hatching plans on how to go about doing so. Moon Express is one example, where they hope to be the first company to mine the surface of the moon.

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2 years ago

this is the best planet, earth, we cant say if earth is going to end, may god make the earth good

6 years ago

maybe in year 2223, but in 2025 there is no (zero) chance

7 years ago

Really...Nobody got the feeling of life on earth. Because we can't live anywhere else. 273 degrees 1 kelvin. this number is the boiling point and freezing point of water. also 27.3 (a lunar month) 27.3% the ratio of the earth and moon. Finally 273 days of pregnancy is the average for a child to be born. Find that somewhere else. p.s. don't mine the moon.

7 years ago

I really enjoyed this documentary (and the comments!), I did spend most of it wondering about the realisticness (yes it's a word that I just came up with) of both the Mars One and the Moon missions.
I am not an expert in terms of space travel at all - I know the basics - but I had two questions, maybe someone can enlighten me:
- Mining and drilling the surface of the Moon, won't it affect us in a way? (thinking about tidal variations and species development here)
- They mentioned "connecting space ports" in a way similar to major airports but what would be the point of that? Do they mean that people will travel from Argentina to Egypt by going through space in between?

Also, the tone of the experts make it sound as if humans are going to need more resources to keep the Earth alive or keep themselves alive, it is an over-evaluation of our species in my opinion.

The Earth was here long before us and will manage long after us ... haaa humans!

8 years ago

I will be so happy when many board up and take off.
If you need someone to close the door behind you give me a ring.

Gigi Bardel
8 years ago

if i have money i will make a donation
but only after i se this is real.
and not a lie .to make money.
all people of the world are greed and selfish you cannot trust nobody this days.

Gigi Bardel
8 years ago

somebody has to be the first.
even that means death.
the first will die
there is no question or debate about that.
maybe later when the tehnoloy advance and knoledge is increased
we will have stable population on mars.
somebody need to make the sacrifice.

Gigi Bardel
8 years ago

to live on mars means no more inports from earth
about 500 years in the future.

Richard Neva
8 years ago

I will be dead by then so I don't care to see this film.

John Techwriter
8 years ago

This film ends up undermining the cause it advocates: humans seeking new living places in space. How so?

Well, in my opinion, the executives of people-in-space startups interviewed here are unconvincing. One earnest CEO argues that we should set up rare-earth mining operations on the moon and use water from the moon's poles to fuel rocket ships carrying the payloads back to Earth. That seems to me to be several scientific breakthroughs away.

And, the young woman who wants to be among the first one-way passengers to Mars says she'd refuse the assignment if a return to Earth was part of the deal. Did no-one tell her there are no makeup concessions on Mars? I say this not to be mysogynistic: I have no doubt that female viewers will be confused by the disconnect between her priorities and her appearance.

The only plausible business idea involved craft similar to the space shuttle, ferrying high-paying passengers to the edge of space, en route to a terrestrial destination.

Despite my sense this film is a failure, I remain of the opinion we will undoubtedly do need to seek out alternate living quarters in the future. My concern is that our crisis will come in the near future, long before we have the technology to provide us a safe retreat.

Kansas Devil
8 years ago

Like all previous adventures, the wealthy will finance the mission for the privileged off the toilings of the workers.
The wealthy will gain more wealth, the privileged will gain the notoriety and the workers will gain nothing.
And then civilization will take another step up as a whole.

8 years ago

First time I've looked at a TDF discussion/forum. I'm very impressed by the civility and intelligence shown by contributors. Mucking farvellous.

Nada nada
8 years ago

6:10 "It's basically the same as it was for people migrating to Australia a 100 years ago." What a dumb statement. Australia was already inhabited by humans for like 50.000 years, making the place totally habitable unlike mars.

Sacco Svd
8 years ago

Yes make a reality show, pay the whole thing with viewers and when the ratings go down....are you gonna have enough moeny to send them back?

Also....you touch the moon....and you have a problem with me.

8 years ago

The Earth will not die, human kind will. Unless we are hit by an enormous meteor/comet the Earth will survive. The Earth will regenerate itself once mankind is extinct. Hopefully, the next dominant species will be far superior to what we humans are. We have more of a chance living on the moon than on Mars. Live long and prosper, ya all!

8 years ago

If we colonize Mars, it will only be for scientific or educational purposes. Mars is a dead planet, which means that it has no molten core to create a magnetosphere. No magnetosphere, no protection from ultraviolet rays from the sun. All unprotected or shielded life will burn up. It will be necessary either to live underground or thick concrete bunkers with EV suits to go from place to place.
Think of it this way; Every living organism is adapted to its surroundings. Take one out and put it into a different surrounding, then you'll have to supplement that organism with protection, vitamins and minerals, and food sources, etc.
What would happen to our cognitive abilities if we lived in an environment with no zinc or any other element that gives us the possibility to thrive?

8 years ago

Screw you, humans! You will never conquer us! - A martian living and spying among you imbeciles.

8 years ago

What a lot of ludicrous nonsense. Outer space is no place for any animal.

Beyond 400 odd miles the rest of the Universe is deadly. No Man has ever gone beyond about 400 miles.

Anyone but a cretin would believe that we ever went to the moon. The notion of Mars 'rovers' is also suspect.

Man thinks he is so clever (especially the Yanks) that he can defy Nature.

People just do not have a clue about space. They believe in the silly notion of a mechanical, linear Universe, which clearly it is not.

They live in the fantasy world of their sci-fi comics.

It is laughable.

MD Hurst
8 years ago

Just send your money now! Another investment scam I fear smh

Samuel Morrissey
8 years ago

Highly optimistic. Possibly insane. Completely embodies the bravery and pioneering spirit in the face of incomprehensible challenges that sent people to the Moon and back.

Really love the idea about sending mini greenhouses to Mars to see if we could get plants to grow. If that could be done, it's not a great leap to keep sending them, and start outputting the gases they produce into the atmosphere... Well OK, getting a little ahead of things :)

Lets go with the 3D printer in space instead, that seems like the best/most useful 'baby step' right now, for cost saving on repairs.

Great to see a collection of relevant contemporary ideas that people are actually pursuing. Nice thematic music too.

phill jurkski
8 years ago

This kind of stuff is just the fantasies of the elite pretending that they can escape the inferiority of the squalid masses.Because no one wants to live in the same neighborhood with human beings.No matter how rich they are.I,m afraid that for these high living and low living thinkers their only tickets out of this mess will be like everyone elses.A One Way Ticket ON The Six Foot Under Express

Adam Young
8 years ago

a human being with a billion dollars in their bank account is perverse and disgraceful so i don't know what you'd call somebody with a Trillion

Airvaulting for Girls
8 years ago

If you're space nerdy, check this one out, you'll probably like it. It has yer terraforming, yer fancy, futuristic gadgetry, yer techno-music, interesting interviews with obviously very bright folks, lots of great graphics, wonderful shots of the Earth, Moon, and Mars, and even a brief cameo from our beloved Spock, if you pay close enough attention, yo. Unfortunately, I have to believe it may be just a little too optimistic in many of its forecasts, but I hope I'm wrong. And I have to agree with awful truth: The Moon first, Mars later. One thing I do suspect is obviously spot on, though, seeing how much division still exists down here, which require such enormous defense budgets to guard against, and that is that it'll indeed have to take all those private entrepreneurs to get and stay serious about this getting off the ground and staying there. I'm no Nostradamus (and neither was he, really, incidentally), but it sure looks like the coming years on this planet are going to tax governments with more than enough earthbound issues, keeping them too busy to concern themselves with serious space exploration to the degree many of us would like. Still... it's a feel good piece (part of its point, and it is important to feel that about space, imo) and well worth a watch.

8 years ago

As a child growing up, I watched man land on the moon. For this reason, I always wanted to be an astronaut, breaking boundaries, and searching the unknown. While I can appreciate the enthusiasm for a trip to Mars, I believe the idea at present to be folly. In my opinion, we will not be ready for this adventure until we can travel to the moon, and back as easily as we now fly across the Atlantic. Aside from the technological issues, I have to question the validity of a mindset only interested in a one way trip.
Of course, I am now 50, and if anyone should go, it should be me, or someone my age, where a one way adventure is icing on the cake! (lived a great life) For anyone younger, this is merely a suicide run. (you can do that here, for a lot cheaper, and many do)

8 years ago

Space flight needs to be geared to not letting humans be in charge of the flight. That's the big failure in this. And yes I know that humans are the ones programming operations. Just don't let them be in charge in the end of the process.