One moment please
In the year 2023 humanity will take another giant leap in its aspiration towards interstellar exploration. A non-profit organization called Mars One is set to create the first feasible mission to establish human settlement on Mars.
Supported by Nobel prize winners, entrepreneurs and great scientific minds, the mission is well on its way towards becoming reality. In the coming years all needed material will be sent to Mars. Using existing technology and an innovating way of funding, four brave astronauts will be trained and sent out to become the first Martian settlers.
Clear for liftoff,
No government will be involved in this mission, therefore most needed funds will be derived from license fees. Every part of the entire mission will be broadcasted.
This will be the biggest media event ever.
As these brave astronauts make way on their arduous seven month journey to Mars they all are very aware of one important aspect of their mission...
The technical and practical difficulties with a return mission to Mars are so big that staying on Mars is the most feasible option. An at best 7 minute delay in communications with home is all they have to live with. Needless to say this will have a strong impact on the way they deal with and perceive fear.
Their ten year training has taught them a wide range of skills to deal with most of these situations. But to maintain a sane mind and overcome fear in the long run will be a huge challenge.
Luckily, as they descent,
all of them carry something very personal close to the heart.
A small device tied as a necklace and shaped like a shell acts as a mediator in the transfer of personal messages. Keep it against your ear and you will hear sounds of familiar surroundings. These are updated by means of a mobile application used by your friends and family. Furthermore they can record spoken messages as if they were whispered into a bottle crossing an ocean of empty space. When you receive a personal message it will not arrive instantly, like regular means of communications. It will take some time to arrive, just as if you were waiting for a letter.
When a message arrives the shell will give of warmth and you can hear the message by holding it to your ear. Replying is just as easy as talking back into the shell, though these messages won’t be instant either.
Fear is something that comes in many forms and can be solved in many ways. In an endeavor like this the fear of being forgotten or never seeing your loved ones again can take on astronomical forms. Therefore it’s important to change the mindset about the distance you are apart from the people you love. Just as the early explorers of the 19th century wrote letters home and managed to keep their hopes up when times were tough.
Of course these shells will also act as an icon of identity and personality throughout the mission. An earthbound version will be created as well as an application/platform that will make this possible amongst people on earth. The mission and it’s astronauts will pose as an example of the fact that personal communication is still possible in today's over-connected age..
Mick van Olst
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2013
Check out the actual Mars One mission