The Worrying Future of the Mars One Mission

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Welcome to the nearing death of another weekend and, of course, another Reading List, gathering together some of this week's best words, phrases, and sentences spun into incredible stories. This week we have online black markets, the future of cybernetic prosthetics, the endangered art of the London cabby, and the brave and/or foolhardy mission of Mars One. Dig in, everyone.

  • Space exploration is a romantic idea. It's where tragedies take place and heroes are made. It's the last real unknown (and quite a big one at that) left for human kind to explore, and Mars One wants to get the ball rolling. This private organization's plan to send up colonists on a one-way mission is much more ambitious than any other space agency, and the way they're going to get there worries experts and astronauts alike. [Medium]
  • On November 5th, 2014, Blake Benthall was arrested as the leader of the newly launched Silk Road 2.0, a one-year-old reincarnation of the famous online black market website originally seized by the FBI in the fall of 2013. The accusations and arrests stunned community members and friends who knew Blake, and The Daily Dot tries to piece together the life of this alleged criminal. [The Daily Dot]
  • Scientists and roboticists are hard at work creating mechanical prosthetics to help return better function to amputees. As Defense One points out, a lot of this research is rightfully going to veterans first and provide a pretty clear image of what tomorrow's prosthetics looks like today. [Defense One]
  • The London cabby test is a grueling examination of rote memory and one's ability to navigate through the winding streets of one of the largest cities in the world. But in a time where every smartphone and smart car has a GPS unit, the historical tradition of actually learning the streets of London is under threat. [T Magazine]



Considering the Mars One people have yet to really address, let alone solve, the multitude of major problems with a Mars colony, climbing into one of their rockets would do about as much good for space exploration as climbing into a Will E Coyote ACME brand catapult.

At best, it's a silly diversion and a pot-stirrer for public interest in space. At worst, its a distraction from where peoples attention should really be and a complete waste of resources, economic and otherwise, and enthusiasm. And throw the word 'scam' in there for good measure.