Mars One Solicits Payloads for 2018 Lander

Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)
Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, June 30, 2014 (Mars One PR) – Mars One is extending a formal invitation to universities, research bodies, and companies to contribute to the payload of the 2018 unmanned Mars Lander. The best ideas will be chosen by a panel of experts. This mission will act as a staging point for the first-ever human mission to the red planet in 2025.

Mars One is soliciting proposals for four demonstration payloads that will demonstrate technologies for the human mission in 2025, proposals for one payload that will be elected in a world wide university competition, and proposals for two payloads that are for sale to the highest bidder. These last two payloads can be used for scientific experiments, marketing activities or anything inbetween.

“We are opening our doors to the scientific community in order to source the best ideas from around the world,” said Arno Wielders, co-founder and chief technical officer of Mars One. “The ideas that are adopted will not only be used on the lander in 2018, but will quite possibly provide the foundation for the first human colony on Mars. For anyone motivated by human exploration, there can be no greater honor than contributing to a manned mission to Mars.”

The payloads will be part of the Mars One lander that will be launched in August 2018. The lander will be built on the same platform that was used for the 2007 NASA Phoenix mission. Mars One contracted Lockheed Martin, who also built the Phoenix spacecraft, to develop the mission concept study for the 2018 lander.

The four demonstration payloads, university competition payload and two payloads for sale are as follows.

Demonstration payloads: Mars One will send four experiments to demonstrate some of the technologies that are important for the successful permanent human settlement of Mars:

  • A soil acquisition experiment that will collect soil for water production;
  • A water extraction experiment that will extract water from the Martian soil;
  • A thin film solar panel will demonstrate the possibility of generating the settlement’s energy by only using sunlight for power;
  • A camera system which, in combination with a Mars-synchronous communications satellite, will enable Mars One to send a live video feed from Mars to Earth. Everyone on Earth will be able to take a ‘real time’ look on Mars.

University competition payload: One payload selected from the entries of universities worldwide will be sent to the surface of Mars on board of the 2018 Lander. Mars One invites teams from any university around the world to submit a payload proposal. Proposals can include scientific experiments, technology demonstrations or any other exciting idea. The Mars One community members will have an important vote in the selection of the competing university submissions and will elect the winning payload. University teams can submit their notice of intent to participate in this competition on the following page:

Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder & CEO of Mars One said, “The brightest young minds of our planet are being invited to participate in Mars One’s first Mars lander. This is an opportunity for university teams to launch an experiment not just to space, but to the surface of Mars. We do this to inspire students to believe that anything is possible. We’re not only looking for scientific proposals but also for outreach or educational ones. Mars One’s community will determine which payload flies to Mars in an online vote.”

Payloads for sale: Mars One offers two payload opportunities for paying mission contributors. Proposals can take the form of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations, marketing and publicity campaigns, or any other suggested payload. “Previously, the only payloads that have landed on Mars are those which NASA has selected,” said Bas Lansdorp, “We want to open up the opportunity to the entire world to participate in our mission to Mars by sending a certain payload to the surface of Mars.”

The launch of the lander will happen in less than four years time. This sets an ambitious schedule for the selection, development and delivery of the payloads. The schedule for the selection phase of the payloads and further information concerning the proposals can be found in the Request For Proposals (RFP) document, and the Proposal Information Package (PIP).

The evaluation process of all payloads will be performed by Mars One in close collaboration with its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, and specific advisers of Mars One. Mars One will enlist the help of other experts as necessary to ensure viable payloads are selected.

About Mars One
Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish permanent human life on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One’s mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations. It is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars.

More information about Mars One can be found at: