Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Mars Colony Mission Crowdfunds its Way to the Red Planet

Credit: MarsPolar

MarsPolar, a newly created international venture has started raising funds for their bold project to establish a permanent human colony on Mars. The team behind the project wants to collect at least $100.000 to cover the initial costs of their future endeavor. Their first goal is to build a base in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) that will allow taking first steps towards journey to Mars, specifically contracting new partners or hiring engineers and scientists.

The team encourages everyone to support the pioneering journey to the Red Planet and offers a set of the mission-related perks, like merchandise or participation in the project’s future activities. The minimum funding option is $1 but starting from $10, a funder will be put on the list of MarsPolar supporters on the project’s website.

Other rewards include posters, fridge magnets, T-shirt, coffee mugs or a DVD documentary about the project. $150 will secure a place on the honorary ‘Wall of Supporters’ in the team’s headquarters. For $300 MarsPolar gives an opportunity of putting a supporter’s video on the website and for $500 – they will include the video in the DVD documentary.

The team consisting of specialists from Russia, United Arab Emirates, Poland, U.S., Ukraine, Spain and Switzerland has come up with a challenging idea to establish a human settlement on Mars’ polar region, the part of the planet with abundant quantities of water ice.

But before MarsPolar will be all set to send a manned mission, several spacecraft will be delivered to the Red planet with habitats and supplies for future colonists. The first rover is slated to be launched between 2018 and 2022.



However, the first objective for the mission team is to project and built its headquarters and research center. “We intend to setup a complex containing our headquarters with research and training center. Initially, we wish to have a small office, but a larger space for research divisions and training center activities,” the team wrote on the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign page.

5% from the Indiegogo campaign will be used to support the European Rover Challenge, a competition that aims to select and award the best robots capable of coping with the harsh, rocky Martian environment. Mars Polar is going to use the contest to contract a rover team, successful in the competition.

“There are so many teams [in the ERC], that construct great rovers, such as Magma 2 and Project Scorpio,” the project’s founder and CEO, Arteum Goncharov, told astrowatch.net.

Besides funding the one-way trip to Mars, the raised money could be used also to build a spaceport for commercial and suborbital spaceflights.

“We have a dream to build a spaceport for commercial, suborbital spaceflights, like the Spaceport America,” Goncharov said. “At this moment, the cost of Spaceport America is not as big as a flight to Mars. Its construction has cost only $250 million.”

MarsPolar targets 2029 for establishing a human colony. This timeline will be strictly dependent on the outcome of the crowdfunding campaign. It’s hard to predict the amount of money that the team will manage to raise, but at least $100.000 will be enough to build the base and take first steps towards contracting new partners or hiring engineers and scientists. Any amount collected over the estimated minimum goal would push the project forward to sending the first colonists to Mars.

You can support the crowdfunding campaign at: 

The team also released a video presenting the project, available at:

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