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Mar 01, 2017 08:10 AM EST

Elon Musk loves space exploration and one of his quests is to reach and colonize Mars in the near future. However, he is not alone in that quest anymore as a number of tech companies from different parts of the globe are also focusing their efforts on the same goal. Out of these companies, there's one aggressive company that might beat Musk and others in the Mars race.

Mars One is a Dutch non-profit tech company founded by Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders in 2011. The company was initially funded through a crowdfunding campaign but in December 2016 it became public on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

As much as Musk and his SpaceX team are aggressive and ambitious with the goal of putting a man on Mars in 2025, Lansdorp and company have surpassed that as they announced that they are going to put a team on Mars and have a permanent base there by 2023.

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Their roadmap to the Mars colonization is clear and focused. They started their astronaut selection process in 2013 and will start training this year until their launch in 2031. Before that, however, they will launch a demo mission to Mars in 2022 in order to collect data regarding the technologies that are of critical importance to the human crew of the Mars mission.

In 2024, they will launch a stationary communication satellite into Mars orbit which will take enable communication and relay various kinds of information between Earth and the red planet. These live feeds/footages will be shown commercially in some sort of a reality TV show where people will see the daily lives of colonists. Proceeds of the show will be used to fund the missions.

The enthusiasm and passion of colonizing Mars seem understandable but why do we need to colonize a planet that is smaller than Earth with an atmosphere that will do more harm to the human body than good?

One of the reasons author Stephen Petranek gave in one of his TED Talks was that exploration is part of our DNA. This thirst to explore the world beyond us is also the reason why humans evolved, survived, and made innovations. Thus, despite the dangers, Mars is a dream that seeks fulfillment.

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