Comments: 1149 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

R002924 karma


one_of_the_1058446 karma

We know "Mars One" is a ludicrous idea

But their website is so pretty! /s

If you could see how little research I've actually done, you'd only laugh harder. By far the majority of my preparation before applying was a few solid weeks of asking myself every day, Could I up and leave all this? ... Yup.

Regardless of the actual statistical likelihood that this plan will come to fruition, I did indeed apply and make it to round 2 of the selection process, and there was an AMA request on the front page, so there you go. Someone, somewhere on Reddit is curious about it, albeit not you.

I demand that you retract your apology for the harsh words. Own those harsh words, man. They're yours to cast about as you please.

one_of_the_1058244 karma

one. A reddit AMA would seem to be good for points in the final selection process, given the emphasis on ability to enhance public relations as one of the main criteria...how do you feel about that "reality TV" aspect of the program?

In general, I have tried to straddle a middle ground that barely exists between living in modern American society and being off-grid enough to still feel like a human being, not so addicted to my electronic devices that I freak out when I'm away from them for too long, etc. I don't own a smart phone, I don't watch reality TV. (Which is not to say the NSA doesn't have a full report on my internet browsing, text messaging and customer demographic information anyway- I do spend a hideous amount of time clicking around the internet.) In general, the idea of being the center of attention for something so public is profoundly uncomfortable for me; but, nothing about the idea of moving to Mars forever is particularly comfortable, so I am trying to sort out for myself right now what I am capable of tolerating or compromising of my stated life goals, in order to be on the mission. I am the opposite of excited about the reality TV bit, as I tend to try to lead a fairly private life, and I am not sure yet whether having to compromise on that general orientation will end up being a dealbreaker for me.

two. What could you possibly be thinking, to want to go to Mars for the rest of your life?

"Fuck yeah, Mars."

three. What pay, or sponsor endorsements have you been offered, and what good will that do you, if you win and go to Mars?

No one has offered me anything, as I am still anonymous. I haven't even begun to consider what sorts of publicity, endorsements, money, etc. etc. etc. I may have to confront and make decisions about if I get further in the process.

four. Are you doing this for some higher good, for science, and humanity, or just for the lulz?

All of the above. My reasoning for applying is pretty complicated and personal, but I gave it a lot of thought before applying. It wasn't an impulse decision, it wasn't exclusively for the lulz, and it represents a commitment to a number of "greater goods" that exceed my concern for my personal safety and comfort. The answers to this and also question number two are both things I think it would be better to reveal as answers to individual, more focused questions, rather than these broad ones. I'm already taking up several paragraphs here.

five. Do you hold out some hope that you may eventually be able to return to Earth?

No. Giving yourself to the program means never coming back to Earth. That's just part of the deal.

Benpchandler74 karma

Given that everyone on the mission would have a respective role to play, what do you think you would most positively contribute to the mission and why? I was reading that 3% of the selectees were medical personnel, so what do you think got you to the 2nd round? Thanks and best of luck !

one_of_the_105885 karma

Thanks for the well-thought-out question. To an extent, everyone would have a role to play, but I get the feeling they're looking for several jack-of-all-trades types. The group needs to still function even if one, or several, or all but one of its members dies. I'm definitely a jack-of-all-trades type myself, and outside of sporting a decently varied set of survival skills, I would argue that a sense of humor is probably the most important thing. I'm not, like, setting out to build the first car on Mars or something. I don't have anything that specific in mind. Just keeping the group together, happy, productive, and as buffered as possible against the perils of being separated from everything they knew and loved before, would be a success. I have no idea why I got to the second round. I'm not medical personnel. They must have liked my stupid jokes.

justguessmyusername36 karma

I think I speak for reddit when I say THANK YOU for answering the questions like this. It makes it so much easier without having to sort through all the shit you didn't answer.

one_of_the_105829 karma

Anytime, man. Insomuch as I chose the dumbest possible time to do an AMA and also stretch it out over 24 hours, it's the least I can do to redeem myself.

DasBoots31 karma

What do you think the chances are of you actually making it into space?

one_of_the_105869 karma

On Mars One, very low. On a later mission, maybe somewhat higher? I'm not convinced yet that this particular mission is going to happen the way it's planned.

Brickmaniafan9916 karma

Why would you never want to come back to earth? leaving behind everything for a new life where you have to have oxygen to go outside?

one_of_the_105882 karma

It's not about wanting to never come back to earth, or wanting to always wear a spacesuit to walk outside. It's about whether you're willing to make those sacrifices in exchange for whatever you DO want out of the mission, which is probably different for all of us.

AllWoWNoSham13 karma

You're a braver man than I am. I've barely explored earth I don't want to go to Mars just yet.

one_of_the_105826 karma

Does it count as brave if I'm actually scared shitless by the idea?

koxar2 karma

Can I apply now for it, or is it over?

one_of_the_105818 karma

Applications for this particular iteration of this particular private sector project have ceased. For now. Who knows, they may open back up at some point. But if all goes according to plan (lol), there will be future missions to apply for.

TJGypsy2229 karma

How likely do you think it is at this point that the Mars mission will ever happen?

one_of_the_1058285 karma

Ever? Maybe 50-50. Chances it'll happen the way it's planned for this time, close to nil.

l0ve2h8urbs69 karma

Do you think the public's hopes are too high/unrealistic?

one_of_the_1058188 karma

This is difficult to answer. Reddit's opinions don't represent an accurate cross-section of "the public" in general. Also, the dissenters tend to yell the loudest. There may be a silent majority who just aren't pissed off about anything so they're not speaking up. I have no idea. I can only speak for myself.

flickerkuu212 karma

When this whole thing blows up as the marketing scam of a bad reality TV idea, will you go hide in a cave, or come back to Reddit telling us how you knew it was never going to work?

one_of_the_1058337 karma

Is there a third option? How about, I recognize the low likelihood of success here, but I haven't seen anything yet to make me back out?

unimpressedsam182 karma

What is your biggest fear regarding the trip

one_of_the_1058498 karma

That it will actually happen.

This sounds like I'm joking, but I'm not. Everything about this trip is fucking terrifying. That doesn't mean I wouldn't do it anyway, but doing it is infinitely scarier than staying on my nice, relatively safe homeworld and working a 9-to-5 until I keel over.

SkyB4se301 karma

but you get to use the word "homeworld" that's gotta be worth something.

one_of_the_1058180 karma

Yeah I'm pretty much going to use that every chance I get now. Makin' my inner child proud.

Chel_of_the_sea58 karma

Start every story on Mars with the phrase "back on Earth that was..."

one_of_the_10584 karma

Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand...

deesmutts8845 karma

I just hope everybody else has taken your standpoint and aren't completely excited about going to Mars. There could be some pretty naive people are going to be really shattered when they realise they've just been lied to.

one_of_the_105855 karma

Thanks. For something like this, with the relatively little amount of info available currently, the only way to move forward is to strike that delicate balance between optimism and skepticism. I'm just not giving a solid answer to anything right now, and I don't have to.

Peter_Pants24 karma

Love your honesty

one_of_the_105837 karma

Thanks brah.

Iutufis94 karma

-Were you told how long you would be able to live once there? -What happens once you die? Old age? Cremation? Launched into the sun? (fucking awesome)

one_of_the_1058115 karma

I don't know how long a healthy human should be able to survive in ideal conditions on Mars. I also don't know the answer to your second question, but "launched into the sun" sounds like a pretty baller item to be the last line on my bucket list. Too bad Mars is farther from the sun than Earth is.

mulimulix61 karma

I don't know how long a healthy human should be able to survive in ideal conditions on Mars.

Shouldn't this be something to look into?

one_of_the_105859 karma

In general, yes. Right this minute, no. As of right now, there is no contractual commitment, no solid timeframe about moving forward. Up until I got this email earlier today, I didn't think anything would come of it, so I didn't spend a lot of time looking into the details and factors. Lots of research to do now.

Iutufis9 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do this. It sounds like there is still a lot of time to figure things out and a lot of these questions will probably be answered in the future.

one_of_the_105822 karma

Indeed. I wonder what the people reading this AMA were expecting, lol. Up until I got this email earlier today, I was just a normal person doing normal person things. (All right that might be a slight exaggeration, honestly this email didn't change my life much.) Just because I applied to the program doesn't mean I then invested all my spare time in becoming an expert in every relevant topic.

shmameron15 karma

Not sure if you're joking, but launching them into the sun would take a ridiculous amount of energy. It's not like you can just fall into the sun, you're moving at a ridiculous speed going around the sun. You'd have to basically "slow down" to get closer to the sun.

one_of_the_105828 karma

I was joking. I'm not too bothered about what happens to my body after I die. I certainly don't want anyone spending money or energy on some goofy shit I won't even be able do enjoy because I'm dead.

Round2dingding90 karma

what personality traits would you want your companion to have? What are you going to do to pass time have you been given any advice so far?

one_of_the_1058150 karma

Excellent questions. In terms of personality traits, I would want the same thing the people running the selection process seem to be focused on: emotional fortitude, creative problem solving skills, and a sense of humor- that last being, in my view, the most crucial component to a small group of people surviving (literally) unimaginable circumstances together. In terms of passing the time, I don't know if you mean passing time between now and 2023, or once we actually get to Mars, but either way the answer is a big unknown right now.

mostlynein103 karma

Nice tits would qualify.

one_of_the_1058227 karma

In the beginning, sure, but who knows what kind of havoc Martian gravity will wreak on a nice pair? These are the questions I want answered before I commit one way or the other.

iheartdeuterium74 karma

Were applicants required to have some kind of skill/education to benefit the mission? I can't imagine sending anyone (aside from maybe a few to document the project) who are not skilled in some kind of technology, science, or survival techniques. Seems like a waste of a seat.

That being said, what's your skill that would be an asset to the mission?

one_of_the_105863 karma

Actually, the listed qualifications are mostly personality traits, psychological and physical strengths, that sort of thing. I think their reasoning is that if you're intelligent, resilient, adaptable, etc. and have a good sense of humor, you can learn engineering etc. More important that you have the right mindset and can get along with the others.

c100966 karma


one_of_the_1058218 karma

I don't have any big plans for this. I'm not very focused on ceremonial significance in general, so unless Hostess wants to give my family a million bucks in exchange for my first words being "Oh God, I'll never have a Twinkie again! What was I thinking?" I probably won't put too much thought into it.

JMFargo223 karma

"Hi, reddit!"

one_of_the_1058254 karma

All right, this is a contender.

LiquidyToast66 karma

Will you make space love?

one_of_the_1058159 karma

Solid maybe.

echozero155 karma

How do you feel that you're never going to be able to have cheesesteaks on Mars?

one_of_the_105889 karma

Haha, excellent question. Once I actually started considering the Mars One mission as a real possibility, I had to start confronting the vast list of things I'd have to sacrifice to make it happen. If I were going to live out my life as a middle class American citizen, the lack of things like ever having a gourmet meal again might sting. When you start to assemble a list that includes that along with things like taking a walk in the fresh air without a spacesuit, ever seeing the people you've known and loved again, etc. the individual items meld into an abstraction which is easier to process than the loss of so many big and meaningful things. I'm nowhere near done processing it all.

Nixplosion18 karma

Also. No more taxes. No more worry about finding a job or affording rent. No more obligation to go to relatives for holiday parties. No more grocery shopping. Somethings won't be so bad

one_of_the_10583 karma

That's the spirit.

motivateyourself46 karma

Can I say shittiest AMA ever?

one_of_the_1058161 karma

Yes you can.

McFlumpin39 karma

How do your friends and family feel about this?

one_of_the_105872 karma

Mixed reactions. My brother, who knows me better than anyone, called to congratulate me- which is to say, he took it seriously. Most everyone else either thinks I'm just toying with the idea, or thinks I'm out of my damn mind and wants to convince me out of it.

I am not just toying with the idea, but that doesn't mean I've 100% decided to pursue it beyond the level where I'm at now. There's a ton to consider. I'm not all in yet- I'm just not saying no, either.

ILL_Show_Myself_Out38 karma

What do you think about the very real possibility that you could die on Mars after only a short time due to some unexpected problem?

one_of_the_1058126 karma

I'd rather die on Mars having lived a life no human ever has before, than live to 80 on Earth and regret saying no to the ultimate adventure.

That said, I still haven't 100% decided to pursue this Mars One thing further right now. Way too many unanswered questions still.

DoubleUnderscore3 karma

Its always been a dream of mine to go to mars, especially one of the first to get there. That's always been my logic on my dream. But seriously, I envy so much. Congratulations, seriously, I'd give my left nut to be one of the 1058. If this does go through, please go. Go for all of us that can't, all of us that would do anything to go, because its people like you that will live my dream, and it will be the closest I'll ever get to seeing it realized.

Just to make sure I'm not coming off as harsh or anything, I'd just like to say again l, congratulations, seriously, you must deserve it.

one_of_the_10583 karma

Just to make sure I'm not coming off as harsh

LOL. This is one of the most sincere showings of support in this thread. Thank you.

Here's a question for you. If you were in my shoes, and you determined that the most likely outcome was that a for-profit company would use you to make money in a reality TV show, send you to Mars and then never follow through with their promise of sending more people and support later... would you still do it?

MilkGoneSour20 karma

Unexpected? It's a mission to Mars. If they live longer than a week, THAT would be very unexpected. There is no way we can realistically expect anyone to live longer than a few months in the absolute best case scenarios.

one_of_the_105826 karma

Considering that I flat-out said I did not want to be a parent in my application video, maybe this is what they're looking for.

SeryaphFR34 karma

In many ways, you will be much like a pilgrim, travelling with a small group of people into a completely new world with a hostile environment. However, in this case, the environment will be extremely hostile and detrimental to all forms of life.

How exactly are the Mars One people promising to keep you and the other volunteers alive? Has there been any talk of terraforming or what kind of development they're expecting you to perform in order to ensure some sort of sustainability? Beyond that, have they discussed how they intend to keep you supplied? There is no breathable air and very limited, nearly inaccessible supplies of water. What are you guys going to do for air, food and water?

What do you imagine that your daily life on Mars will be like?

And my last question . . . As the first human beings on Mars, my guess is that you will be doing a lot of naming of landmarks in your immediate area . . . Will you name one of those after me? Seryaph Hill, Seryaph Rock or Seryaph Creek/Depression . . . something along those lines.

Thanks for doing this and Good Luck out there!

one_of_the_105827 karma

The environment will indeed be extremely hostile and detrimental to all forms of life. Some of your questions were answered here, although I should say nothing is guaranteed. They're pretty upfront that you're either gonna die on the way there or once you get there, and living a long, happy, healthy life on Mars is not the most likely outcome. In terms of air and water:

... the location for the first Mars One settlement is selected for the water ice content of the soil there. Water can be made available to the settlement for hygiene, drinking and farming. It is also the source of oxygen generated through electrolysis. Mars also has ample natural sources of nitrogen, the primary element (80%) in the air we breathe. Martian soil will cover the outpost to block cosmic radiation.

Food, I have no idea.

Daily life on Mars, I can't even begin to imagine. Obviously in the initial stages it would be all about building sustainable habitats, but assuming the best circumstances (everyone survives and we have time to kill), I guess we'd focus more efforts on building things for the settlers to come. And also carving chess pieces out of soap and shit Martian rocks.

Yes, but only if we can name them after your body parts. Seryaph's Philtrum. Seryaph's Tragus. Seryaph's Superorbital Ridge. Seryaph's Washboard Abs.

Progman3K27 karma

How do you feel being part of a scam?

one_of_the_105837 karma

There are a lot of contrasting opinions about the intentions of the people behind this program, and I am not here to defend my own opinion on that one. I see it as highly unlikely the program will go exactly as intended in the timeframe prescribed, and there isn't enough information available yet to determine the scope and genuineness of the intentions of the people in charge, I'm not in a rush to assume one way or the other whether it's a scam. It's entirely possible that their intentions are genuine, and if they manage to capitalize on the project along the way, I have no problem with that.

eldeeder27 karma

This isn't an AMA, this is a post. Thanks for answering nothing OP.

one_of_the_105856 karma

Anytime, friend.

Hedgesmog24 karma

As I'm sure each applicant has been developing their own vision of what they would like to do at the colony... Do you feel a personal responsibility to create/do something on Mars that will set you apart from the others? If so, what are these visions. Do you feel they will change as the mission approaches?

If you could do one thing, anything at all, (abiding the sufficient engineering, medical, support, administration systems were in place), after arriving on Mars, what would it be?

What excites you the most about the program?

Side note: I have the utmost respect for all of you. You will be changing the course of human history. You will pave new roads where no human has ever attempted to. I wish you all the best of luck in the coming years. I (along with many others) will be cheering you every step of the way. Your decision to take part in this monumental program is truly life-altering for both you and us. God speed, to all of you.

EDIT: As I see we have 2 applicants present, the questions apply to both. :)

one_of_the_105826 karma

Do you feel a personal responsibility to create/do something on Mars that will set you apart from the others? If so, what are these visions. Do you feel they will change as the mission approaches?

This is a really excellent set of questions. I'd like to start by framing where I am mentally right now. When I applied, it was as much to donate money to what I see as a hugely noble pursuit as anything else. I didn't really expect to be chosen. Would I be willing to walk away from everything for this opportunity? Yes. Will it be difficult and terrifying? Yes. I only today got the news that I was admitted to round two here. It hasn't really sunk in yet, it isn't real yet. I really want to have a good answer for you but for now you'll have to settle for a placeholder and the caveat that it's likely to change:

I see the main goal of the mission as getting along with the other folks on the mission, and as such my vision of what I would like to do at the colony is pretty wide open. I don't feel the need to set myself apart from the others. In fact, the level of publicity that seeing this through to the end would inevitably entail is terrifying. I'm just more concerned with contributing to something I care about as deeply as supporting the search for options re: the continuation of human civilization post-Earth, than I am with my own personal comfort. I am sure that my visions of what life there will be like will change drastically as the mission approaches, partly because more information will be available about how we will necessarily have to spend our time, and partly because I hadn't seen these as "real" thoughts to explore before, so I haven't had time to dig deep, sleep on it, see what emerges. "What do you want to do with your life [on Earth]?" is a MUCH different question from "What do you want to do with your life [on Mars]?"

If I could do one thing after arriving on Mars, it would be... Fuck, these questions are hard. I'm not going to give you a bs answer to this, but I am going to think about it and come back to it.

What excites me most about the program is the underlying notion of hope for a better future for humanity. This won't be the most direct or efficient route, but just daydreaming about it is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for your respect and support. If I don't end up going this time, I will sure as hell be cheering those who do on from the sidelines.

PS. Hello other applicant!

ProjectGO12 karma

What's your educational/technical background? Do you think it had a bearing on why you were selected? If not, what do you think got you into the second round?

one_of_the_10589 karma

Bachelor's in linguistics, and a slew of the most sundry, ridiculous jobs after that. Mortgage sales. Music teacher. Home Depot electrical department, living in a hellish nest of coaxial and cat 5e cables. Apprentice to general contractor. Consultant for small businesses and would-be nonprofits seeking 501c3 status and/or government contracts. Every food service job imaginable. Telecom. Dental insurance billing. The list goes on. Why I was selected, I have no idea. I have a modicum of basic skills mostly from hands on life experience, not professional credentials. Mostly I just have a good sense of humor and I think that's what they were looking for, mostly. It's definitely not my face.

Smokeball8 karma

Taking a slightly different approach to this... You say you're one of many. What happens if you don't make the final cut? Have you thought about how it will impact on your life to fall at the final hurdle?

Is there any sort of screening process for psychological conditions?

Have you met your potential colleagues yet? How will the dynamics of the finalists be managed by NASA, if at all?

one_of_the_105816 karma

I think that being well-suited for the program means having the right blend of hopelessly idealistic, mission-focused warm and fuzzy feelings about the whole thing, as well as pragmatic, level-headed reasoning abilities. They want someone sane and stable enough to withstand literally unimaginable circumstances with grace, dignity and humor... but someone crazy enough to go in the first place. Someone willing to put everything on hold, potentially forever, to just have a chance at this, but who will not be psychologically destroyed by not making it. I believe that I possess these qualities, actually. I can try my damnedest, but ultimately I'm not going to base any chance for happiness or meaning in my life on this one thing.

I'm sure there are heinously stringent psychological screenings, but I don't know the details.

I have not yet met my potential colleagues. I have no idea the answers to these questions. I sent in my application without researching every last detail because it was already close to the application deadline when I found out that the deadline was approaching. I'd spent a good amount of time before that contemplating applying, though. There is a goodly amount of information available on their FAQ if you want to check it out further.

EDIT clarified a couple things

one_of_the_10587 karma

Hey (so far nonexistent) readers, brb for about a half hour. Hope to come back to some good questions!

thebobstu6 karma

This is awesome and terrifying at the same time. If you do win, what do you think your chances are that this mission will be successful?

Bonus: What's your favorite sci-fi movie?

one_of_the_10588 karma

This is awesome and terrifying at the same time.

My exact reaction when I got that email.

I'm not even sure what would constitute success for this mission, but if you mean that all of the initial pioneers would survive the trip to Mars and continue to live long, happy, thriving lives there, while other pioneers were slowly sent to join them, then... I don't know. Realistically, the chances are probably pretty low, but you've gotta dream, right? If I totally wrote it off, I wouldn't have applied.

IhaveToUseThisName6 karma

1.What is the budget looking like for such a project ? 2.How sustainable is the project going to be, as in are other colony going to propagated from the base?

Thanks very much for do this :)

one_of_the_10589 karma

  1. I think something like six billion dollars, although it's very difficult to accurately estimate cost or timeframe for a project so ambitious.

  2. I don't know. I am not a representative of the program, just an applicant. I am not as informed as I could be about the details, partly because it's not quite relevant to me yet, partly because the details are likely to change, but mostly because in order to participate at all, you have to be willing to sacrifice your comfort and your life, and when the stakes are that high, the details don't matter as much. That might sound counterintuitive, but I'm offering this as my personal opinion, not arguing it as fact. My idealistic hopes and my actual suspicions about how the project will go are widely divergent. I don't think we're anywhere near ready to actually start populating Mars. Also, even if we were, there are other planets more conducive to sustaining human life that we just can't reach yet. Even if the endgame of Mars One is to declare failure and live out our lives as pioneers of nothing, it might still be worth it to live a different life than any other human has ever had the chance to do. I'm still figuring it all out. It's a lot to think about.

Bleeeh4 karma

Question: Which is better, blind faith or "ridiculously small odds of ever happening but still might" faith?

one_of_the_10585 karma

I don't support blind faith, personally, so by default I'd have to go with the latter.

MrMarcos4483 karma

If I asked you to be the first person to have sex on Mars will OP deliver?

one_of_the_10586 karma

Aim higher. First Martian porn.

lllaura863 karma

I know nothing about this, please explain what is going on, how you applied, how you feel, and any knowledge of your application and selection process. And if OP never comes back, someone else please explain what's happening up there. I had no idea anyone was planning on trying to colonize Mars.

one_of_the_10585 karma

Okay, from their website:

"Mars One will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Crews of four will depart every two years, starting in 2024. Our first unmanned mission will be launched in 2018."

It's a mission to colonize Mars from the private sector, not the government.

That much is fact. Now here's my opinion. It's a sketchily designed program at best, and I have no real way of knowing right now whether it's really going to work out, or when, or whether it's just a big money-making scheme, or what. It was worth the application fee to me to find out.

I applied online, I don't feel much of anything yet because the notion that it's remotely possible hasn't really set in yet. Other than the selection criteria listed on their site, I have no idea what process they chose to whittle down the initial list of applicants. Here are some links from their site:


who will go first

astronaut preparation

selection process

shim123 karma

How mentally and physically healthy would you say you are?

one_of_the_10583 karma

Mentally, hard to say since I haven't been through anything near the level of how this mission would test me, and it's easy to be okay when nothing's really wrong. Physically, probably 6 or 7 out of 10 right now, but that's a matter of habits that are relatively easily changed. I'm 27, don't have any major health problems and don't eat terribly unhealthily, just need to add regular exercise to the routine.

Billytown3 karma

How much do you know about deep space radiation? The water they're planning on surrounding the crew transport module with won't do much to block the really harmful high energy particles you'll be bombarded with for seven months.

Are you prepared to die in space?

one_of_the_10586 karma

I know that we would be subjected to enormous amounts of radiation on the way, not to mention the radiation on Mars itself. I am not yet prepared to die anywhere, but if I have a say in the matter, I'd rather die in space than on Earth.

bowls4noles2 karma

how much will a gram of weed cost on Mars?

one_of_the_105822 karma

Two sheep, one wood, one brick and lifetime use of your wheat port.