He is not the first person to express scepticism about Mars One, a vastly ambitious private mission aiming to settle humans on Mars from 2025. But Joseph Roche is different to most critics: he’s on the shortlist to be one of the astronauts. Roche, an astrophysicist at Trinity College Dublin who was announced last month as among the 100 people in line for the mission, has written for the Guardian expressing his grave doubts about the viability of Mars One. The selection process, Roche writes, “was not rigorous enough to reach the requisite standard of more traditional astronaut selection programmes”. He also says the Dutch Mars One team have displayed “a certain naivety” in believing they can succeed alone in the supposed $6bn (£4bn) mission and should now accept it is very unlikely to happen. He writes: “More openness and transparency would benefit Mars One greatly but I think that the shortcomings of the selection process, coupled with their unwillingness to engage and collaborate with the scientific community means that the time might have come for Mars One to acknowledge the implausibility of this particular venture and turn their efforts towards supporting other exciting and more viable upcoming space missions.” The official timeline for the mission says the group plans to dispatch a stationary lander and satellite to Mars in 2018, followed by a rover in 2020 and cargo missions starting in 2022. Humans would start arriving in 2025, and crews of four would be sent every two years to add to the settlement. They would not return to Earth. More via The Guardian.
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