The Mars One colonisation project has hit a rather large pothole after scientists at MIT discovered a fatal (literally) flaw in their plans.
According to analysis by Sydney Do, Koki Ho, Samuel Schreiner, Andrew Owens and Olivier de Weck, the colonists are unlikely to survive, though not because of the reasons you might think.
The paper raises the issue that it'll actually be the crops that kill the colonists through the over-production of oxygen.
As the colonists land and start growing crops the structure within which they're living will become over-saturated with oxygen.
This becomes a fatal problem because at present, there is no technology that would allow them to exclusively vent the oxygen while leaving behind the required nitrogen in order to maintain air pressure.
There is also another small problem which is that by living in the same structure as these crops you'll essentially be living in a giant greenhouse. With humidity levels reaching 100 per cent it'll become hugely uncomfortable.
Now as CNET reports, the paper is taking a number of liberties in order to hypothesise the outcome.
Mars One CEO Bas Landorp has responded to the paper saying, "There are many problems between today and landing humans on Mars, but oxygen removal is certainly not one of them."Suggest a correction