Wednesday, February 18, 2015

News media is such a sucker for PR

I am rather puzzled by the fact that the news media keeps treating Mars One stories seriously.  Last night, it was about a first selection of 100 potential astronauts willing to go live in a can on a cold, airless red planet until they die within a few months.   (Well,that's the estimate I have seen somewhere.)

I have never taken this project seriously:  without even bothering to read up on it in any great detail, anyone could tell that the proposed timing of the mission and funding sounded fanciful in the extreme.   It always sounded like a PR hack's fantasy that had everything going for it  except the following:  the money, the rockets, the capsules, the spacesuits, the habitat, the long term life support system, the credibility.

It is simply a marketing exercise which, if anything, is about attracting smart people who are into playing pretends.   They apparently have done pretty well in that regard;  but that is where the story will end.

See here for a lengthy, critical article about the project.

The other reason I wanted to post about it is because at my daughter's school, where I had to go the other night, there were at least a couple of Mars One posters in classrooms.  It may be that one of the teachers applied - I think that seemed to be the story circulating.   Bit of a pity the school is pretending it's real too - I would rather they spent time using it an example of media manipulation or the scientific difficulties in long distance space flight.   Maybe there is hope for that yet...

1 comment:

Not Trampis said...

These people are on another planet!