Mars One may have taken us by surprise when the non-profit organization boldly announced that it would put colonists on Mars in the 2020s. We were even more amazed when legions of amateur astronauts signed up for a one-way ticket to the red rock. However, MIT students believe the effort, in its current form, is doomed to fail. Using publicly available info on the space mission, the researchers developed what they call a "Mars settlement analysis tool" and discovered that this frontier expedition will end up more like the Donner Party than anything else. After crunching the numbers, the students found a number of "failure conditions" that would doom the Mars One crew. First, the required caloric intake of the astronauts compared to the mission's food store estimates don't match up, meaning the astronauts would simply starve. But that's not the only issue. Indoor crops would create a high oxygen atmosphere and the technology needed to filter oxygen while maintaining nitrogen, needed for air pressure, isn't nearly efficient enough, according to the researchers. The group also estimates that for a colony to be successful it will require at least 15 Falcon Heavy launches totaling near $4.5 billion. More details via Gizmodo.
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