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A manned mission to Mars is organized

The Mars One company plans to colonize the planet Mars in 2025. More than 1000 people have been shortlisted to participate in this conquest. For the first settlers to inhabit Mars, it will be a one-way ticket to the Red Planet!

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"While more than 200,000 people from 140 countries had registered to be part of this first wave of colonization, 1,058 were selected for the second phase of the selections, the Dutch company said in a statement."
Source: Huffington Post
Among the people selected so far, there are 22 French as well as 75 Canadians, including one from Sherbrooke and one from Charlesbourg. At the end of the process, 24 people will be able to complete the journey to Mars. “The selected Terrans will be sent to Mars in groups of four every two years. "
Source: La Presse
The following activities will provide a better understanding of this project to colonize the planet Mars.


Goals

At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Know the main elements of the Mars One mission;
- Reflect on the challenges of colonizing the planet Mars;
- Express your opinion on the Mars One project;
- Compare the planet Mars with the planet Earth;
- Find out what motivates the candidates of the Mars One project.
 


Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Colonize Mars

First, inform the students that a mission to colonize the planet Mars is being organized. To help them discover this project, invite them to read the following article:
Mars-One: A thousand candidates are shortlisted to colonize Mars
Published in Huffington Post, January 2, 2014
Then ask students the following questions:
- For the Mars One company, what is the biggest challenge regarding the selection of candidates?
- What qualities are sought in candidates?
- How will this project be financed?
- How will the settlers sent to Mars live?
Finally, invite the students to reflect on the challenges of this colonization project. According to them, is this a suicide mission, since the colonists will no longer be able to return to Earth?
What do they think of the following comment at the end of the article?
"Are we there, sacrificing people to make good television?" "(Vincent Lachance)
At the end of the activity, everyone can be invited to write a short paragraph in which he or she expresses his or her opinion on the Mars One project.
 

ACTIVITY 2: The Red Planet and the Blue Planet

This activity will allow students to compare Mars with planet Earth.
As a team, the students must carry out research on the Web or in books found in the library in order to complete the following diagram.


Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

 

For further

Find out about some of the successful candidates so far by visiting the following links.
Bryan Vezina, Charlesbourg, Quebec
Norm Green, Sherbrooke, Quebec
Florence Porcel, France
Next, have students identify what motivates these people to leave for Mars. Finally, students can search the site Mars One other candidates selected for the project in order to understand their motivation.
 


More about the magazine

Mars One
Official site of the colonization project
Mars One
Wikipedia article
Manned mission to Mars
Wikipedia article
Canadian space agency
Articles about the planet Mars
Enjoy Space
Space news site

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About the Author

Véronique Lavergne
Véronique Lavergne
Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.

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