ITN News has a video news report discussing the Mars One program, in which a private company wants to send people to establish a Mars colony, but one in which the colonists never return. Furthermore, the journey would be paid for via media sponsorships, turning this adventure into a TV reality show. Watch the report for more details.
It's an interesting concept for a couple of reasons. First is the "never return" idea. How many humans would likely sign up for something like that? We'd have to go back to the mindset of the early American pioneers to even conceive of something like that - when they got in their covered wagons and headed West, surely they knew that they would "never return", although likely they would still have some roots back home, and getting back East was still sort of an option, wasn't it? I'm not sure how many modern humans would do this, unless they were highly compensated, or their families were.
Second, does humanity have the right to view all of this as a reality show? Sure, the original moon landing was televised, but it was done via news coverage, not something that had a live, 24-hour streaming video feed. I think while most people would be intrigued to watch for a while, eventually they would get bored of watching people try to live on a remote planet.
What do you think of this idea? Would you sign up?
Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.