Mars One - A Human Colony on the Red Planet


Mars One is a project that wants to put humans on Mars by 2024. It is a private organization with headquarters in the Netherlands. By 2035 Mars a human colony of 24 people will live permanently on Mars.

The mission calls for the launch of unmanned spacecraft that will bring the necessary equipment, living units and survival gear to Mars as soon as 2020. Starting in 2024, the first four people will start their seven month journey to the red planet. In the following years five more groups of colonists will fly to Mars.


The project was first announced in 2011 by the head of the mission Bas Lansdorp. He claims that over 200,000 people from around the world were interested in the project. Mars One selected a first pool of possible candidates in 2013 and have narrowed the number down to a hundred. In 2015 the final 24 people will be chosen and split into six teams of four who will be sent to the red planet.

Mars One is a one-way trip that, according to the Dutch organization, will cost around 6 billion dollars, much less than any NASA project to put a man on Mars. The project is to be funded by donations from around the world but most of the money is expected to come from a media group that will broadcast the whole mission to Earth.


The Mars One project has led to a lot of controversy and criticism. Space experts say it is not possible to set up and carry out such a mission within a decade. They also claim that the amount of money for such a mission is far too low. Few experts think that the project will ever get off the Earth’s surface.

Those who support the project claim, however, that the Mars One expedition is historic and can be compared to the first climbing of Mount Everest or the first expedition to the South Pole.

The people chosen to fly to Mars will need certain qualifications and undergo seven years of training. They must be skilled at repairing things, growing their own food and also have medical training. Scientists, however, think that once humans land on Mars they will only be able to survive for a few months.

There are other serious challenges that Mars One colonists face, including physical and psychological problems on their journey. In addition, Mars has no magnetic field, which means the people who go there will face high radiation levels.

The young project has recently encountered some problems. Currently, the project organizers are looking for companies that can meet the deadlines and supply the spacecraft and equipment needed for the journey.


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  • according to = as said by …
  • announce = to say officially, make something public
  • billion = a thousand million
  • broadcast = to send out television programmes
  • certain = special
  • challenge = problem
  • choose = select
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • compare = put side by side
  • controversy =  discussion
  • currently = at the moment
  • deadline = time or date, at which something must happen
  • decade = ten years
  • donation = gift in the form of money
  • encounter = come across
  • equipment = machines and tools
  • expect = believe
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  • head = leader
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  • level = amount
  • living unit = here: block that can be put together, so that people can live there
  • magnetic field = an area around a plant that has magnetic power
  • mission = trip, adventure
  • narrow = get smaller
  • necessary = what is needed
  • one-way = here: without being able to return back to earth
  • permanently = forever
  • pool = group
  • psychological = about the way you mind works and the way this changes the way you act
  • qualifications = skill, talent, ability
  • radiation = form of energy that you cannot see and is dangerous in high amounts
  • recently = a short time ago
  • scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
  • select = choose
  • serious = critical, dangerous
  • skilled = talented ; to be able to do a job
  • spacecraft = a machine that can travel to space
  • split = divide
  • supply = provide, offer
  • support = to be for something
  • surface = the outer layer of …
  • survival gear = clothes and other things that are needed to live in such a dangerous place
  • survive = live on in a dangerous situation
  • undergo = go through