The folks behind Mars One might have to go back and have a rethink on the whole leaving-Earth-to-live-on-the-red-planet-forever thing...

While the Dutch company behind Mars One has been asking for applicants to send on a one-way trip to the Red Planet and colonise it forever, as it turns out that might not be possible. 

A recent study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) estimates that humans could only survive for about 68 days in the inhospitable conditions there, which would make the colonisation process that bit more difficult. 

Using data from Mars One, a team of five scientists from MIT crunched the numbers on food, water and oxygen supplies and stated that "the first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission", which is obviously bad news. The problem, funnily enough, is too much oxygen, rather than not enough, and it seems that the plants needed to feed the colony would produce an "unsafe" amount of it.

That would require them to have some form of oxygen extraction device, which is yet to be developed for space travel. Despite that rather grim outlook, Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp was pretty upbeat, saying that the team used incomplete data, and "the actual [oxygen extraction] apparatus that we will take to Mars still needs to be designed and tested extensively, but the technology is already there". 

If that doesn't inspire confidence, then we don't know what will...

Via Yahoo. Main pic via Wikipedia