Dr. Blaauw has years of professional experience and an extensive network within the space sector. Currently the Chairman of the Netherlands Space Society, he has previously also been Director of Space at TNO from 2003 to 2010, and was a Board member of SpaceNed for many years as well. He has been on early retirement since 2011, and currently uses his expertise working as a freelancer in the space sector alongside his NVR duties as Chair.
"Go to Mars? Sending manned flights in a relatively short timeframe?
This is not a mission we can imagine being attempted by current space programs, but Mars One’s visionary idea to combine media and aerospace in such an innovative way means it is possible! True breakthroughs come from interweaving divergent domains, and that is what is happening here!
One of the most important aspects of the plan is the involvement of respected aerospace companies that operate in the global public and private sectors. They have been drawn in and are equally convinced of the Mars One project, and have proven it by writing ‘letters of interest’, cementing their interest in participating. It is due to these that Mars One has already been able to link up with the pertinent parties!
But what about the required funds? Mars missions cost tens of billions of euro, and isn’t that impossible nowadays?
This is certainly the case for ESA and NASA missions, but Mars One exclusively utilizes private bodies and other organizations which leads to a much lower bottom line. With these partners on board, over the next ten years Mars One will represent the logical continuation of 1) the private space missions that have been established this year to supply materials for the ISS and 2) the private missions to the Moon that we can expect in 2015 as a result of the Google Lunar X-prize. A key point of the Mars One plan is how media attention is focused and cultivated to involve large amounts of people all over the world, and so producing financial backing. This merger of media and aerospace alone means Mars One is worth watching!"