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Mars One Announces Ten Potential University Payloads to Fly to Mars on 2018 Lander

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posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 06:30 PM
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I know a lot of people around here are interested in Mars One so I am forwarding this email I just received:


Hi Mars One supporter,

In 2018, we will send our first unmanned mission to Mars. One of the payloads on board will be a university payload selected from universities world wide. We are now down to the final ten potential payload projects!

The best part of all? Your vote will help decide which payload receives this extraordinary opportunity. Find summaries of the ten proposed payloads and voting details below.


What follows is a description of the experiments with a link where I could vote.

Here is the official press release from Mars One:


Amersfoort, 1st Dec 2014 - Mars One is proud to present the ten Mars One University Competition finalists eligible to fly to Mars. One of these ten payloads will receive the once in a lifetime opportunity to fly on Mars One’s first unmanned Lander mission to Mars in 2018. For the first time ever the public will be able to decide which payload receives the extraordinary opportunity to fly to Mars.

The ten remaining projects from an initial 35 submissions were submitted by diverse universities worldwide. In order to get this far, the payload proposals needed to meet all requirements as described by Mars One supplier Lockheed Martin. Mars One community members, social media followers, and the general public will have the opportunity to vote on and select the winning payload. Voting opportunities for the public will be opened in the first weeks of December, 2014. Voting submission will be accepted until December 31st, 2014. The winning university payload will be announced on January 5th, 2015.

The winning payload needs to be feasible and meet the requirements and restrictions as outlined in the Proposal Information Package (PIP) and on-going discussions with Lockheed Martin, who will build the 2018 lander. Additionally, if in any case the winning team can not perform or adjust to additional requirements the runner-up will be chosen instead.

Arno Wielders, Co-founder & CTO of Mars One said, "These ten final projects are unique and creative and we are very happy with the payload proposals these teams have presented. It would be highly interesting to see each and every one of these projects being launched to Mars. Now it is up to the public to decide which project they would like to have on Mars."

Here are the ten finalists in the Mars One University competition with a brief payload description.

Cyano Knights - Generating O2 out of CO2 (Germany)

This project aim is to change a small amount of the 95% carbon dioxide Mars atmosphere into oxygen with the power of cyanobacteria. The Cyano Knights team would like to transport cyanobacteria to Mars that will deliver oxygen made out of their photosynthesis of carbon dioxide. The activities of the cyanobacteria will be monitored in different environmental conditions on plates in quarantined boxes in order to determine the best working solution for converting carbon dioxide into oxygen on Mars.

HELENA - Oxygen Production & Art Time Capsule (Australia)

The HELENA team plans to demonstrate oxygen production from water in the Martian soil through electrolysis. HELENA’s primary science payload is an electrolysis module housed in a custom made chassis unit designed to demonstrate key life-support technology; producing oxygen from water extracted out of the Martian soil.

iHISS: In situ Habitat Improvement through Soil Strengthening (USA)

The IHISS team will test in situ materials as a shield for the habitats on Mars. Soil will be collected with the soil acquisition payload and injected with a polyester resin in order to develop a new composite material. The composite material will be moved over a series of sensors which will be activated to obtain the control data, average radiation amount, and average temperature cycle. With the data collected from the experiment, IHISS will determine how useful a shield of this composite material will be for the human habitats on Mars.

MARA-DS: Material Radiation Degradation Study (USA)

The MARA-DS team designed a project to record the energy and impact events of Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) and Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) flux at the surface of Mars. The payload will establish a baseline control for the radiation environment while also measuring the massed radiation flux through the potential habitat structural material of JSC Mars-1: a Martian regolith simulant. The information collected will help plan for protective Martian habitat structures.

Mars Micro-Greenhouse (United Kingdom)

The Mars Micro-Greenhouse team intends to bring a small pressurised greenhouse utilising an aeroponic system to Mars. The team will try to demonstrate the ability to grow small plants with atmosphere obtained from the Martian environment, with a minimum of material imported from Earth. This will be demonstrated by growing lettuce in the growth chamber of the payload using an aeroponic system, obtaining a supply of carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere.

MIDDAS: Mars Ice Deposit Detection by Application of Seismology (USA)

The MIDDAS team intends to locate the presence of ice-water in a vertical column of regolith beneath the 2018 Mars lander. This will be done by using a seismic source on the Martian surface to allow sensors to record velocity changes in acoustic seismic waves that are transmitted through the shallow subsurface and are reflected back to the sensors. The payload will use this data to detect the presence of ice-water.

PECR: PhotoElectroChemicalReduction of CO2 (India)

The PECR team aims to convert CO2 to a useful state by activation/reduction. Photoelectrochemical and photoelectrocatalytic methods involving p-type semiconductor electrodes will be used for the sequestration of CO2. Additionally, solar energy will be used for the conversion. The project can be considered an artificial photosynthetic process.

Seed (Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands)

The Seed team intends to grow the first plant on Mars. More specifically, the team would like to grow Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings in a container that includes growth medium, water delivery system, carbon filtering systems, light stimulation, and a small photographic camera. The mechanism is fully automatic and the available energy should be enough to maintain a proper temperature for plant growth.

S.P.A.R.C.: Sensing Pressure and Atmospheric Research Console (USA)

The S.P.A.R.C. team proposes to observe Martian weather patterns. Dust devils, dust storms, and clouds will be videotaped, and data such as pressure and temperature will be recorded from the atmosphere. From the visual and atmospheric data, it will hopefully be possible to characterize Martian weather patterns.

Urine Greenbox: Urine to Water with Energy Recycle (USA)

The Urine Greenbox team aims to evaluate the reliability and operation of a system to convert urine into clean water and hydrogen. Project Urine Greenbox consists of using synthetic urine to produce hydrogen/energy and clean water. The process uses a urea and urine electrolysis and will include the capability to measure the amount of clean water produced, hydrogen produced, and basic sensors to test the quality of the water.




posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 06:31 PM
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Which of the above experiments would you vote for? My vote went to MIDDAS but I'm biased



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar

Hmmm difficult, all good experiments.

MIDDAS seems indeed also cool to me, but the growing things appeal also to me (but could be a bit boring however).

The weather one, S.P.A.R.C., I think can also be very interesting.

MIDDAS, S.P.A.R.C., Seed and Mars Micro-Greenhouse would all be fine with me.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 08:21 PM
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originally posted by: BornAgainAlien
a reply to: JadeStar

Hmmm difficult, all good experiments.

MIDDAS seems indeed also cool to me, but the growing things appeal also to me (but could be a bit boring however).

The weather one, S.P.A.R.C., I think can also be very interesting.

MIDDAS, S.P.A.R.C., Seed and Mars Micro-Greenhouse would all be fine with me.


I wish they could all go to be honest. I'm hoping that some of the ones which do not go somehow get "beefed up" and put on NASA's 2020 Rover. They're all worthy ideas.

From a practical standpoint I think SPARC, MIDDAS, iHISS, PECR, Seed OR the Micro Greenhouse and the Urine experiments would be number one priorities for getting useful data for sending people to grow a colony.

Probably the most important would be MIDDAS and iHISS since the whole Mars One "live off the land" plan relies on two things: The ability to mine water ice and the ability to protect colonists from radiation by burying the colony in Martian regolith or soil.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 08:31 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar

It seems being able to growing would also be high up the list, even dried out meals are a pound per person a day, but with the right measurements it could be replicated on earth.

So I agree with MIDDAS and iHISS being the most usefull, but in that light Cyano Knights is maybe also a sound choice.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 08:52 PM
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originally posted by: BornAgainAlien
a reply to: JadeStar

It seems being able to growing would also be high up the list, even dried out meals are a pound per person a day, but with the right measurements it could be replicated on earth.

So I agree with MIDDAS and iHISS being the most usefull, but in that light Cyano Knights is maybe also a sound choice.


Being able to grow depends on...wait for it... water.

It also helps if the people maintaining the equipment don't get radiation sickness.

I'm joking of course being able to grow things in Martian soil is VERY important however, we have plenty of data on the Martian soil and atmosphere to the point where we can simulate it on Earth and create those experiments here.

The two experiments i suggested are most important can't really be simulated. The radiation environment at the lander site (which ideally, would be close to where the first colonists touch down) is something which can only be monitored there, likewise the amount of water they might be able to mine can only be found by experimenting on Mars.

Experiments which can not be simulated on Earth or in Earth orbit should be considered vitally important. Mars One might only get a couple unmanned landers before the first crew arrives so you want to make them count.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 08:59 PM
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I think all of the possibilities are awesome and totally worthy of inclusion. Sadly, I can't pick just one



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 09:40 PM
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I hope this mission actually takes place, too many broken promises by too many space agencies has made me skeptical.

Only a couple of years ago, there was a similar project where students around the world were going to send rovers to moon, yet what happened? Where are the rovers? Are they on the moon? Was there ever a space launch? Does that look like rovers on the moon over there?

The only time we can believe that a space mission will take place is if we see space vehicles past the point of no return on the way to some orbiting body. Talk is cheap, time for some action.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar

I like the Cyano Knights and Mars Micro Greenhouse ideas.

Always wondered if we can get Earth based plants to grow in martian soil. Of course I would think it would be lacking in so many different nutrients that plants would need, but I think it would simply be cool to see.



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 03:16 AM
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originally posted by: deloprator20000
I hope this mission actually takes place, too many broken promises by too many space agencies has made me skeptical.

Only a couple of years ago, there was a similar project where students around the world were going to send rovers to moon, yet what happened? Where are the rovers? Are they on the moon? Was there ever a space launch? Does that look like rovers on the moon over there?


Are you talking about the Google Lunar X-Prize?

If so the deadline was extended to 2016:


DEADLINE FOR $30 MILLION GOOGLE LUNAR XPRIZE EXTENDED TO END OF 2016
Up to $6 Million in Milestone Prizes Recognizing Technological Advancements to be Awarded in January 2015



Los Angeles (December 16, 2014) — XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competition, today announced that the deadline for the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE has been officially extended until December 31, 2016. As part of this revised timeline, at least one team must provide documentation of a scheduled launch by December 31, 2015 for all teams to move forward in the competition.

“We continue to see significant progress from our Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, most recently demonstrated in the pursuit of the Milestone Prizes, in which teams exhibited substantial technological achievements that will ultimately support their missions,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president, XPRIZE. “We know the mission we are asking teams to accomplish is extremely difficult and unprecedented, not only from a technological standpoint, but also in terms of the financial considerations. It is for this reason that we have decided to extend the competition timeline. We firmly believe that a whole new economy around low-cost access to the Moon will be the result of the Google Lunar XPRIZE.”

To recognize the recent technological achievements made by teams in the areas of Landing, Mobility and Imaging, Google and XPRIZE will be awarding up to $6M in Milestone Prizes on January 26, 2015 at a private event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Two purses have already been announced as Astrobotic (U.S.) has won $500,000 in the Mobility category and $250,000 for their Imaging Subsystem, all determined by a judging panel of science, aeronautics and space industry experts that evaluated numerous field and technology tests over the past year. In addition to Astrobotic, the other teams competing for Milestone Prizes are Hakuto (Japan), Team Indus (India), Moon Express (U.S.) and Part-Time Scientists (Germany).

"Over the past year, the judging panel has been consistently impressed with the progress seen from the five teams selected to contend for the Milestone Prizes," said David Swanson, chairman, Google Lunar XPRIZE judging panel. “It goes without saying that space exploration comes with a myriad of challenges, yet the enthusiasm and teamwork exhibited by these competitors has been second to none, exceeded only by their adept technical expertise. As part of this process, we are pleased to recognize Astrobotic for their achievements in the Mobility and Imaging categories and look forward to awarding additional Milestone Prizes in the coming weeks.”

Competing for the Milestone Prizes is an optional part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE. Teams that chose not to participate in the Milestone Prizes are still eligible to win the Grand or Second Place Prizes. The prize money for the Milestone Prizes will be deducted from any future Grand or Second Place Prize winnings of that team. For more information on the Milestone Prizes, visit lunar.xprize.org...


Doing this stuff is hard. Doing it on the cheap makes it even harder. There's a reason why people say "it's not rocket science" when talking about the ease of doing something. Because rocket science is hard.

When it all goes off and works flawlessly it like with Curiousity's landing on Mars it all LOOKS easy but that's because a lot of people for whom spaceflight is not just a job but pure passion, live, eat and breathe the mission and go over every possible contingency in their minds and plan, perfect, and plan some more so that it all looks easy.

Here's another report on the extension:


When Google launched the Lunar X Prize in 2007, the company planned to scrap the whole thing if nobody still won by 2014. Luckily, the company has realized just how tough (and costly!) it is to develop a rover, send it to the moon, drive it 1,640 feet and then transmit "HDTV Mooncasts" back to Earth (whew). So, it's now extended the deadline -- again -- to December 31st, 2016, so long as one of the participants submits a launch plan by December 31st, 2015. "We know the mission we are asking teams to accomplish is extremely difficult and unprecedented, not only from a technological standpoint, but also in terms of the financial considerations," said Xprize President Robert K. Weiss.

Think about it this way: space business has been tough, even for big, established companies -- what more for small teams with little funding? Within this year alone, one of SpaceX's rocket exploded in the middle of complex testing, Orbital Sciences' rocket blew up on its way to the ISS, and Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo disintegrated in the air. SpaceShipTwo, by the way, was based on SpaceShipOne, which won Google's Ansari X Prize in 2004.
More at Endgadet



The only time we can believe that a space mission will take place is if we see space vehicles past the point of no return on the way to some orbiting body. Talk is cheap, time for some action.


There as you can imagine has to be a LOT of talk before they plop a launch vehicle on the pad and "light 'em up". It all looks glamorous in the sci-fi movies but your comment just brought to mind this:



If you want to see all the talk that is necessary before a successful mission can take place go over to MIT and take a look at the behind-the-scenes engineering talk for NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite which will launch in 2017. You get a great idea of the level of detail that goes into a space mission. Every component down to individual resistors, capacitors, thermistors, ICs, CCDs, etc are closely evaluated because you'd rather find out something won't work or isn't reliable down here on Earth than millions of miles away.

That goes triple or more for human spaceflight.

Remember, measure twice, cause you only get one chance to cut.



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 03:20 AM
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originally posted by: eriktheawful
a reply to: JadeStar

I like the Cyano Knights and Mars Micro Greenhouse ideas.

Always wondered if we can get Earth based plants to grow in martian soil. Of course I would think it would be lacking in so many different nutrients that plants would need, but I think it would simply be cool to see.



We've already grown Earth plants in simulated Martian and Lunar soil based on the stuff we brought back from the moon and the stuff we've analyzed on the red planet.

The real trick will be can we grow Earth plants in a pressurized and temperature controlled greenhouse similar to what might exist on Mars.

This can be simulated on Earth but of course it would be better to actually experiment on Mars if money and space on a spacecraft were no object.
edit on 20-12-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 07:15 AM
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Wow, there are people that still believe Mars One isn't just a big joke!



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 01:07 PM
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originally posted by: noeltrotsky
Wow, there are people that still believe Mars One isn't just a big joke!


Yeah. You can count Lockheed and Space-X among them. But what do those rocket scientists know right? You know better than them of course, because you said so.



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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originally posted by: JadeStar
You can count Lockheed and Space-X among them. But what do those rocket scientists know right? You know better than them of course, because you said so.


Lockheed has been contracted to 'study' the re-purposing of their previously designed Phoenix lander and the actual estimated $200 million to send the lander to Mars has NOT been paid. That is just the teaser mission that there is no money for.

As of March 2014, SpaceX indicated that they had been contacted by Mars One, and were in discussions, but that accommodating Mars One requirements would require some additional work and that such work was not a part of the current focus of SpaceX. There is ABSOLUTELY NO CONTRACTED AGREEMENT between the two companies. The truth is that SpaceX is likely a competitor to Mars One.

A space logistics analysis conducted by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that in the most optimistic of scenarios would require 15 Falcon Heavy launches that would cost approximately $4.5 billion. Oh, Oh...more money that Bas doesn't have!!!

MIT students analysed the current abilities of the technology Mars One proposes to use and basically found the whole proposal lacking is so many ways to be basically unviable.
www.spaceflightinsider.com...

Wired magazine gave it a plausibility score of 2 out of 10 as part of their 2012 Most Audacious Private Space Exploration Plans.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in an interview said that he wants to see humans on Mars by 2035, but he does not think the nonprofit organization Mars One will be the first to achieve it.


Wow, name dropping doesn't really convince people who know what they are talking about I guess. Sorry to interrupt your dream thou! Good Luck!



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