Does Mars One Need Hackers? NASA Says "Why Not?"

During Thursday’s AMA with Mars One on Twitter, many users had questions about how living conditions on the planet would impact the health of the astronauts and their ability to conceive. But one brave user decided to ask a truly future-facing question: would Mars One need a few hackers on its crew of adventurers?

The answer to the question, posed by user CommanderXanon, was a resounding “maybe?”

“Anyone meeting the qualifications is welcome to apply. If a hacker proves to be a great team player, he / she could make the cut,” Mars One tweeted in response to the inquiry.

While it’s unproven that a hacker could save “all the others’ lives” during a crew disaster, as CommanderXanon suggests, it’s also not such a bad idea. Hackers are a notoriously creative bunch, a fact that NASA has already embraced. In 2015 NASA launched its “Space Apps Challenge,” a global hackathon prompting participants to build something that might be of use to NASA. Sending a crew to Mars on the deepest space mission to date is sure to come with complications, and a hacker would probably be more useful in an emergency than ducktape. SpaceX’s one big advantage over NASA’s $20 billion in funding is a lack of bureaucracy to deal with in launching their mission. But guess who doesn’t care about red tape? Hackers.

A hacker could also come in handy if a nation that also has its eyes on Mars, like China for example, wanted to meddle in NASA’s trip. In February, the group AnonSec claimed they had hacked into a NASA drone though the space agency said the attempt had failed. Seems like NASA could use a good team of white hat hackers to keep it safe.

So how would they go about finding the perfect hacker for the job? CommanderXanon, who describes himself on his website as a “cyber knight” and “hacker extraordinaire” seems like a good volunteer. Apparently, he could get the Netflix hookup for Mars. Your move, NASA.

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