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Comment There is no evidence Mars One is not sincere (Score 1) 89

"It's interesting how different news sites spin #marsgate"

That's because there are quality news sites and there are blogs. There is no evidence Mars One is not sincere in their attempts.

Here's another medium article by the Mars One applicants refuting the conspiracy theory: https://medium.com/@oscarmathe...

Comment I would advise people to give this a chance. (Score 5, Informative) 233

I would advise people to give this a chance.

Let me clear up some things about Mars One. It is often claimed that Mars One is a scam and has no scientists, engineers, technology, timetable, suppliers or plan. This is just not true!

Scientists and Engineers:
Lansdorp received his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Twente University in 2003. For five years Lansdorp worked at Delft University of Technology and in 2008 founded Ampyx Power in order to develop a new, viable method of generating wind energy.
Lansdorp is also a successful entrepreneur. Here is a ted talk about his last company.
Arno Wielders received his Master of Science in Physics from the Free University of Amsterdam in 1997. He was soon hired by the Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, to work at Dutch Space in the Very Large Telescope Interferometer Delay Line project.
Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel laureate and Ambassador of Mars One
Gerardus (Gerard) 't Hooft is a Dutch theoretical physicist and professor at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Received the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer, Mars One
Norbert Kraft is an American Medical Doctor with over 17 years of experience in aviation and aerospace research and development as of 2012.[1] His primary area of expertise is developing physiological and psychological countermeasures to combat the negative effects of long-duration spaceflight.[1] He has worked for the Russian Space Agency, the Japanese Space Agency and NASA.[1]
Grant Anderson, Sr. VP Operations, Chief Engineer and Co-Founder, Paragon Space Development Corporation 28 years of experience in spacecraft systems design, requirements formulation and preliminary and detail hardware design. Founded or help found 5 companies, two of which are still operating.
Time table: http://mars-one.com/en/mission...
Suppliers: http://mars-one.com/en/partner...
Technology they want to use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...
They don't plan to develop much of the technology themselves, they're planning to buy it from other companies mostly such as SpaceX. Most of this technology exists already. They have written statements of the companies that they are willing and able to supply these things.

All they need is the funding, and they plan to get that through broadcasting and sponsor deals. His argument is that the olympics got 6 billion dollars in sponsor deals, so wouldn't a colony/trip to mars get the same? It would certainly help them get funding if people didn't denounce it as soon as they hear the name. The mission is so cheap (6 billion dollars) because it's a one-way trip. Sending people from Mars back to earth is very expensive. Also, they're not a big wasteful government agency.
The falcon heavy for example costs only $77-135M to launch (2013). Technology has come a long way, this combined with the privatization of space has caused costs to drop significantly.

Comparison Olympics/Moonlanding:
According to this the 2008 olympic openings ceremony was watched by 1 billion people. According to wikipedia in 1969 (the world population was only half of what it is now, and people weren't as well connected as they are now) the moon landing had 500 million people watching. So, just imagine, how many people would watch a landing on Mars in 2023.

Not saying they're actually going to be able to pull it off, but there's no evidence that their efforts aren't sincere.
Here is a press conference that answers most of the questions you may have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
I am aware that reddit AMA was badly received and too vague for the bold claim he was making. But he answers most of the unanswered questions in the press conference.

Comment Don't discount this so quickly (Score 5, Informative) 216

Lansdorp himself is a successful entrepreneur, here is a ted talk about his last company. He sold his stake and has been using the profit he made there to get Mars One off the ground for the past 3 years.

Among the people supporting them are:
  - Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Prize winning Theoretical Physicist
  - Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of the Mars Society
  - Terry Gamber, worked on the lander designs for the Viking mission
  - A very large number of experienced people (see their website Advisers, ambassadors)

They don't plan to develop much of the technology themselves, they're planning to buy it from other companies mostly such as SpaceX. Most of this technology exists already. They have written statements of the companies that they are willing and able to supply these things.

List of the technology they want to use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One#Technology

The total cost is estimated at $6 billion. Technology has come a long way, this combined with the privatization of space has caused costs to drop significantly. The falcon heavy for example costs only $77-135M to launch (2013).

They plan to get this through sponsorship deals. They're going to broadcast the entire thing on TV. Which makes sense, the olympics receives 6 billion dollars for 1 billion viewers. The moonlanding in 1969 had 500 million viewers. The population of the earth was only 3,5 billion back then and people weren't as well connected as they are now. So imagine how many viewers a colony on Mars would get?

No one says it's guaranteed that they will succeed, but i think they should try, and we should support it.

More information can be found on their website and IndieGoGo campaign:

The campaign is just to help pay for the Lockheed Martin study and to convince sponsors there is enough interest. I have donated myself, and advise people who think space exploration is important to do the same. It's risky, but it's high impact.

Comment Re:If it works - it works (Score 1) 170

Geordie Rose's (D-Wave CTO) response:

The majority of that post is simply factually incorrect.
As one example, Troyer hasn’t even had access yet to the system Cathy benchmarked (the Vesuvius – based system). (!) Yes Rainier could be beat by dedicated solvers — it was really slow! Vesuvius can’t (at least for certain types of problems). Another is he thinks we only benchmarked against cplex (not true) and he thinks cplex is just an exact solver (not true). These types of gross misunderstanding permeate the whole thing.
I used to find this stuff vaguely amusing in an irritating kind of way. Now I just find it boring and I wonder why anyone listens to a guy who’s been wrong exactly 100% of the time about everything. Update your priors, people!!
If you want to know what’s really going on, listen to the real experts. Like Hartmut.

Comment IEEE Spectrum apologised (Score 5, Informative) 108

IEEE Spectrum apologised for that article:


It's a quantum computer all right, just not a universal quantum computer. But it should still show quantum speedups for discrete optimization problems.


So far, tests have been very promising:


If it continues to speed up like this, there are some very exciting times ahead of us!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/8054771535/ (Rose's Law, the quantum computer equivalent of Moore's Law)


4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

Submission + - Texas college take over drone by GPS spoofing (rt.com)

Simon321 writes: A group of researchers led by Professor Todd Humphreys from the University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory recently succeeded in raising the eyebrows of the US government. With just around $1,000 in parts, Humphreys’ team took control of an unmanned aerial vehicle owned by the college, all in front of the US Department of Homeland Security. Iran has claimed to use a similar technique to capture a US surveillance drone last year. The US military denied this and claimed 'Iran had nothing to do with the UAV crash landing'.

Comment Shady politician (Score 1) 253

This politician is suspected of fraud and is being investigated by the belgian tax inspection.

http://www.knack.be/nieuws/belgie/fiscus-karel-de-gucht-fraudeerde-met-1-2-miljoen-euro/article-4000115128765.htm (Article in Dutch)

He has some property in Italy that he shouldn't be able to afford.

http://www.humo.be/humo-archief/71654/karel-de-gucht-het-gevecht-met-de-fiscus (Article in Dutch)

There are rumors that he's corrupt, but it's never been proven though.


Submission + - Can the Dutch do reality TV on Mars? (bbc.co.uk)

Simon321 writes: A Dutch company, Mars One, wants to establish a permanent settlement on Mars by 2023. A video is available on their website that provides more information. They claim they will finance the mission ($6bn) by organizing a media event around it (Who wouldn't want to watch humanity colonize Mars?). Mars One's CEO, Bas Lansdorp, is known for his wind-harnessing energy company which he gave a TED talk about in 2010. Yet, people are wondering if this is a feasible project or even a hoax. Lansdorp say he would not bet his carreer on this mission if he didn't think it was feasible. Mars One's list of ambassadors include nobel prize winner Prof. dr. Gerard 't Hooft and Big Brother co-creator Paul Römer. What does slashdot think?

Submission + - Dutch company aims to put four people on Mars by 2023 - permanently (mars-one.com)

Simon321 writes: An independent space launch company aims to put four people on Mars by April 2023 — and the team will not be coming back.
Mars One claims that a new crew of four will join every two years as the explorers build their settlement, and that by 2033 there will be 20 people living on Mars.
The company has been in talks with independent space suppliers such as Space X, which recently launched the first privately owned rocket to the Space Station.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.