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Startup aims to colonize Mars by 2023

Mars One, a space venture from the Netherlands, hopes to start a human settlement on Mars in just 11 years.

Forget the moon. A new startup is aiming to set up shop on an even more distant land.

Mars One, a private space venture from the Netherlands, hopes to send astronauts on a one-way journey to Mars. Announcing its ambitious plans on Friday, the startup has declared its intention to colonize the Red Planet by 2023.

Founded by Dutch entrepreneur, Bas Lansdorp, Mars One lays out a detailed timetable for human settlement on the planet:

The group will begin by sending a communications satellite to Mars in 2016. Two years later, the company will deploy rovers to scope out ideal settlement locations on the planet. In 2020, Mars One will send infrastructure for colonists to live on and finally, in the year 2022, the company will launch the colonists themselves in a journey set to take 10 months. After that, the startup hopes to send another few astronauts to the planet every two years.

While the mission’s presentation might raise a few eyebrows, the group does gain some credibility with the support of Gerard ‘t Hooft, a Dutch theoretical physicist and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in physics. Lansdorp also claims to have letters of support from component suppliers and other private space companies.

To fund the mission, the company plans to garner hype and create a “media spectacle.”

“We will finance this mission by creating the biggest media event ever around it. Everybody in the world can see everything that will happen in the preparations and on Mars,” Lansdorp states in the presentation.

While Mars One’s plans to colonize the fourth planet from the Sun are certainly lofty, proposals like these only add to the excitement of the private space race and might just encourage others to do some exploring of their own.

[via Mashable]

Image, Video: Mars One

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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