In the first half of the program, Ken Johnston, a former NASA Data and Photo Control Department manager, discussed the Mars Oneproject and the process of colonizing space. He explained that Mars One is a non-profit organization aimed at building a human colony on the Red Planet and is currently in the midst of selecting the astronauts who will participate in the project. Johnston, who has applied to be one of these astronauts, acknowledged that the journey is a one-way trip to Mars, with a return to Earth being highly unlikely, but relished the historic nature of such an endeavor. "Everything we will do, from the moment we're launched," he marveled, "will be a first for the human species."
According to Johnston, the building of this colony on Mars will begin with training the astronauts in 2015, followed by a series of unmanned missions to the planet which would scout an ideal location and send the necessary cargo ahead of the humans. The first crew, consisting of two men and two women, would fly to Mars in 2022. Every two years, thereafter, another set of four astronauts will depart Earth and join the original Martian pioneers. Once they are on Mars, each astronaut will have their own 10 by 20 foot pod to live in and will perform research and development tasks on the planet while also building additional habitats for future fellow Martians, initially twenty-four in total. "As it grows, we'll have our own little colony going and we'll have to make up our own rules and laws," he said, "and we'll all be Martians."
In the latter half, former real estate developer, Adam C. Hall, detailed how he found purpose, freedom and power in business, family, and community by reaching out to greater good, and preserving the Earth rather than conquering it. He recalled how, after a successful twenty year career and a prosperous family life, he felt like something was missing in his life. "So I decided to really re-pivot and decide how to best serve myself and the planet," he said. This led him on a journey around the globe on what he described as "an adventure of spirit." Hall returned to America and formed the EarthKeeper Alliance, which utilizes his real estate acumen to purchase land and focus on conserving it while also allowing for limited development in order to generate sustainable profit.
"It's quite arrogant to think that human beings can save the planet," Hall opined, "it's the other way around. The planet can save human beings." To that end, he lamented the growing disconnection between people and the environment, declaring that the population suffers from "nature deficit disorder." Therefore, he encouraged people to focus on their own personal relationship with the environment which, in turn, could lead to greater changes in society towards developing more sustainability. Ultimately, he stressed that finding a balance with nature would be the salvation of the human race. "Our planet's going to be perfectly fine to do as she may," he said, "the best thing we can do is get on board and get on the program."
At a geochemistry conference in Florence, Italy, scientist Steven Benner suggested that life on Earth may have been spawned as a result of a serendipitous Martian intervention. He argued that, in the distant past, a key molecular ingredient for creating life, oxidized molybdenum, was not present on Earth, but did exist on Mars and could have journeyed here via a meteorite. More on the story at Space.com.