This is a conversation activity in which students discuss human achievements and the Mars One colonisation project. Either split the class into small groups (3-4) or for smaller groups have a class discussion. You can download the handout here.
- How many amazing physical achievements (climbing Everest, walking to the South Pole etc.) can you think of?
- Which achievement was the most impressive?
- What’s the most physically difficult thing you’ve ever done? (climb a mountain, run a marathon etc.)
- Are there any you would like to try in the future?
- Are there any you wish you had tried in the past?
- Are the world’s best athletes present at the Olympic Games?
- What type of athletes or sportsmen/women do you think deserve the most respect?
- What do you think of ‘extreme’ sports (bungee jumping, tightrope walking…)?
- What do you think is the most impressive human achievement? (not necessarily physical, could be scientific/technological/medical for example the moon landings)
- How much do you know about Mars? Share your knowledge with your group.
- Are you interested in astronomy and the science of space travel?
- Do you have any memories of important achievements in space travel?
- Have you heard of the Mars One project? Share your knowledge with your group BEFORE READING THE DESCRIPTION BELOW.
Mars One is a privately funded project which intends to establish a human colony on Mars by 2025. They plan to send an unmanned spacecraft to the planet in 2018 followed by equipment and supplies over the following 6 years. They are currently accepting applications to be part of the first 4-man crew that will take off in 2024 on a one-way 7 month trip to the red planet. Once the colony is established 4 people will be sent every 2 years.
- What do you think of the project? Is it realistic?
- The project is currently accepting applicants to be part of the 4 man crew that will leave in 2024. What kind of people do you think they are looking for?
- Would you be interested in participating? Why? Why not?
- What kind of people do you think would apply for the project?
- If you were running the project what tests would you do on the applicants to check if they are suitable?
- What are the biggest problems the people could encounter on the 7 month journey to Mars? And when they land?
- How would you feel if a member of your family wanted to apply for the project?
- Do you know anyone who you think would like to apply?
- Why do you think people would apply to be part of the project?
- Imagine you have been selected to be part of the first crew. You are allowed to take 1 item of hand luggage (standard budget airline size) of personal belongings. What would you take and why?