Creating a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2025 will require serious training. To prepare its future astronauts for the task, the Netherlands-based private spaceflight project Mars One announced today its plans to construct Earth-based outposts that replicate the cramped, isolated, crazy-making conditions of a Red Planet colony.
In an email statement this morning, Mars One also named Kristian von Bengston—co-founder of Copenhagen Suborbitals, a private effort to build and launch a crewed suborbital rocket—as leader of the new effort to establish multiple training outposts at yet-to-be-determined locations. For now Von Bengston is seeking out construction companies and courting financial sponsors. The first simulated colonies won't contain actual life-support systems, at least to begin with, but they will be retrofitted with the technology later on, according to the statement.