February 26, 2014
UAE Islamic affairs authority warns Muslims against a mission to Mars
Would there be any chance of survival?
That's a concern for the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments, or GAIAE, the United Arab Emirates' religious watchdog, for anyone who wishes to travel to Mars. The GAIAE has issued a fatwa, or an official Islamic ruling, to warn Muslims against a Mars mission. The mission is being planned by the Dutch nonprofit foundation Mars One. In April 2013, it announced its ambitions to establish a human settlement on the Red Planet by 2025.
But the GAIAE likens the journey to a suicide mission. On the authority's free 24-hour hotline, the issue was deliberated by the center's specialized muftis, or scholars, who released the following statement: "It is not permissible to travel to Mars and never to return if there is no life on Mars. The chances of dying are higher than living."
Taking one's life willingly is against Islamic principles.
In response, Mars One issued a statement asking the UAE's Islamic authorities to cancel the fatwa, saying every precaution would be taken to reduce the risk to life. "If we may be so bold: the GAIAE should not analyze the risk as they perceive it today," the statement says. "The GAIAE should assess the potential risk for humans as if an unmanned habitable outpost is ready and waiting on Mars. Only when that outpost is established will human lives be risked in Mars One's plan."
January 21, 2014
Why we want to spend the rest of our lives on Mars
Since its announcement in May 2012, the Mars One project hasn't had an easy ride. Critics have questioned all aspects, from the technical feasibility to its funding model. But recent developments from the project seem to be bringing the goal of starting a human colony on Mars by 2025 a little closer.
Last month, Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, the project's founder, announced a partnership with Lockheed Martin, the same company that is contracted by Nasa to build the Orion spacecraft, and Surrey Satellite Technology to build a satellite to put into orbit around Mars by 2018. This was a strong statement of intent for the project, which aims to send four volunteers on a one-way ticket every 26 months to spend the rest of their lives on the red planet.
January 20, 2014
Provo woman could go to Mars
Kitty Kane has her travel plans made, although her departure is not yet confirmed. She's hoping to take a trip to Mars, one-way. And it's not for 10 more years.
The 24-year-old Provo hairstylist has applied to be one of the first people from Earth to colonize the red planet. Initially, 200,000 turned in applications. That number has been pared down to 1,058 and she is still in the running. Seven others of those continuing on are from Utah. Organizers are planning on an international crew. Of the more than 1,000 currently in the running, almost 300 are from the United States. One of the requirements is that they all must speak English, to facilitate communication.
"I think that is a beautiful goal," Kane said. "It is not for national pride, but for all of humanity. It is one of my favorite things about the project."
January 1, 2014
East Sooke woman on short list for one-way Mars mission
An East Sooke woman took one small step Monday toward fulfilling her lifelong dream of exploring outer space. Marina Miral learned by email that she was one of 1,058 candidates short-listed for a one-way mission to Mars that aims to establish a human settlement on the red planet by 2025. The Mars One project selected the 30-year-old author from more than 200,000 applicants around the world. “I was shocked, for one, because I’d kind of given up; I sort of thought I would have heard sooner,” Miral said. “I just haven’t been able to stop smiling. “I’m so excited. I’ve never been so excited.”
December 30, 2013
Mars One narrows applicant pool to 1,058 in first cut for 2025 colonization mission
Mars One, the organization attempting to send small teams of astronauts on a one-way trip to Mars, has made its first round of applicant decisions, selecting just over 1,000 people to move on to the next stage of what it hopes will be a decade-long, televised training and colonization mission. Today, 1,058 of the roughly 200,000 people who applied were told that they had made the cut. Between 2014 and 2015, all but a few dozen of those will be weeded out, leaving a final set of four-person teams that will theoretically begin heading to Mars by 2025. Before then, though, there's a long process of testing, prototyping, and fundraising ahead of the company.
December 22, 2013
Mars One - First Private Mars Mission in 2018
The Mars One foundation will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. This Indiegogo campaign will help us jumpstart the first major step in our project – a private Mars Lander and Satellite mission in 2018. Your participation will help fund the 2018 mission and above all, show our partners & sponsors that the world is ready for this to happen. Mars One gives you the opportunity to participate in this historic project. This can be your mission to Mars!
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