ONE WAY TICKET TO MARS - Over 200,000 People Compete to be First Settlers on Mars

If you have ambitions of being one of the first people on Mars, listen up: A Dutch company says it is moving along with its plan to send four lucky Earthlings to colonize the Red Planet. The catch: They won't ever come back.

The Mars One foundation announced Tuesday that it has secured lead suppliers for an unmanned mission launching in 2018, which involves a robotic lander and a communications satellite. Lockheed Martin has been contracted to study building the lander, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. will develop a concept study for the satellite, Mars One said.

This first mission will demonstrate technology that would be involved in a permanent human settlement on Mars. If all goes well — and that's still very much an "if" — the first pioneers could land on Mars in 2025.

A meteorite from Mars found by Bedouin tribesmen in the Sahara last year has been used to determine the Red Planet's crust was formed 4.4 billion years ago, scientists have said.

American and French geologists found tough crystals within the meteorite called zircons, which held traces of uranium, whose rate of decay can be used as a calculator of age.

"This date is about 100 million years after the first dust condensed in the solar system," said Munir Humayun, a professor of Earth, ocean and atmospheric science at Florida State University.

Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp's Mars One, an organization planning to establish a colony on the red planet by 2023, is more popular than Obamacare. Lansdrop has collected more signatures for his improbable project than all the number of Americans who have enrolled in Obama's mandatory health insurance fiasco.

On Wednesday, the first Delaware resident signed up for Obamacare. On Thursday, it was reported that nobody in Alaska had bothered to sign up for the program due to the government's inability to keep up its glitch-prone enrollment website. In response, Alaskan Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski fired off a letter to the Obama administration.

"This system that cost more than $400 million, took three years to build, and was billed as a one-stop shop for individuals seeking health insurance is not working as advertised," Murkowski wrote. "In its first two weeks of operation, I am told that no one was able to enroll in the Alaska Exchange."

Obama's apparatchiks refuse to release enrollment numbers, so there is no verifiable numbers on how many people have enrolled in the government's healthcare-at-gunpoint scheme.

"The administration is not wrong in saying that there's been a lot of problems with signing up. But it's incorrect to say that's the only problem," an insurance industry official told CNN. "That's not the only issue at hand."

Indeed, there is another issue at hand, one that is not being addressed by the establishment media. If the government can't effectively handle data and other mundane aspects, how can it be expected to manage a massive, complex and unprecedented healthcare program?
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Obamacare: crony capitalism in action:
Results from the surface-radiation monitoring provide an additional piece of the puzzle for projecting the total round-trip radiation dose for a future human mission to Mars. Added to dose rates Curiosity measured during its flight to Mars, the Mars surface results project a total round-trip dose rate for a future human mission at the same period in the solar cycle to be on the order of 1,000 millisieverts.

Long-term population studies have shown exposure to radiation increases a person's lifetime cancer risk. Exposure to a dose of 1,000 millisieverts is associated with a 5 percent increase in risk for developing fatal cancer. NASA's current career limit for increased risk for its astronauts currently operating in low-Earth orbit is 3 percent. The agency is working with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies to address the ethics, principles and guidelines for health standards for long duration and exploration spaceflight missions.

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