PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta questions whether the future of space travel is reality television in the latest episode of the series. Rugnetta specifically looks at Mars One and its ambitious plan to send a group of people on a one-way trip to Mars–with the idea being that they’d film the whole thing for television for at least part of the funding. The project recently selected a number of finalists for the lucky job of living and probably dying on Mars.
Okay, Mars One is decidedly cool, but also kind of crazy right? Nearly everyone with clout in the scientific community has spoken with extreme skepticism about the project, despite Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp’s overwhelming confidence in his mission. To which we at Idea Channel say… Sure! BUT WHY? Lansdorp wants to make his mission the biggest broadcast spectacles of all time, and in a world of underfunded space programs, maybe this is actually the way we get to colonize space! Is framing colonization as entertainment our key to the stars?