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Project Virgle, dubbed by Virgin and Google as Virgle: The Adventure of Many Lifetimes, was a Google April Fools' joke featured on the main page of Google Search on April 1, 2008. The motto of Project Virgle was, "Things will get better. Eventually".
The name "Virgle" was a mix of the Virgin Group and Google, and these groups are in fact allies in real life. Virgle is a mission to colonize the planet Mars to make it suitable for human living.
- Starting in 2010, Virgle would choose a location for Virgle City to be built. Characteristics of the area included shoreline produced by terraforming, and closeness to tourist spots like previous landing sites.
- In 2014, Virgle 1 and other Virgle craft would be launched into Low Earth orbit. One of the launching sites shown was at or near the Googleplex.
- In 2015, Virgle Base 1 would be set up by Virgle 1. Google once again included their famous uncertainty of safety of their hoaxes' when they say that they were 99.9% sure that Virgle Base 1's nuclear reactors were safe.
- In 2016, Virgle pioneers would spend five months on their journey to Virgle Base 1. They would be provided with supposed entertainment via a supercomputer "Holistic Artificial Language" (a reference to the HAL 9000 supercomputer), nutrition, and artificial gravity.
- By 2108, Virgle City would be a flourishing human habitat including activists protesting development and spoiling of the native beauty.
In order to become a Virgle pioneer, one would have had to take the Virgle 15-question quiz. Requirements included the following:
- good physical fitness
- knowledge of physics
- appreciation of algae as food
- appreciation of "1/3" artificial gravity
- toleration of delayed (up to 40 minutes) responses to email
- bravery against Martian attacks
- willingness to live without the conveniences of DVR and designer clothing
- appreciation of all pioneers working hard daily
- providing an opinion on a Virgle method of rocket propulsion
- willingness to play backgammon with other Virgle pioneers for days on end
- defending Project Virgle in the possible event of other pioneers revolting against Virgle 1's "government"
- willingness to produce offspring with other crew members to provide a population for Virgle City
- appreciation of God's creation on an autumn night on Earth
- bravery to face the "unknown"
"Applicants" were required to post a 30-second YouTube video as a video response to either of two videos from the Project Virgle YouTube channel. These videos starred Sir Richard Branson on one, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin on the other. Users were only allowed 24 hours to post a response since the Virgle website was set up. This would not have provided the Virgle Project with enough pioneers, therefore producing another joke.
|Notable locations||Virgle City (capital)|
|Motto||Things will get better. Eventually.|
Virgle City would be fully populated by 2108, therefore becoming the supposed capital city of Mars. Virgle shares (VRGL: NASDAQ) would supposedly be sold at 69.32 "Mollars" a share in 2108. The terraforming of Mars would be 89% complete in 2108. Phobos would contain a backup copy of the Internet provided by Google. Immigration is done via more advanced spaceships traveling from Earth to Mars similar to transit.
What started as an April Fool joke by Google for 2008 called Project Virgle is now a real and genuine effort by an increasing number of people to create ideas and ways in which mankind can live sustainably in space using free and open source technology. This project is a place for all space enthusiasts to cooperate on simulations of space settlements. Rather than argue whether L5, Mars, the asteroids, the Moon or the rings of Saturn should be mankind's first space settlement, we could be asking what is common between those efforts so that that groundwork can be shared.
OpenVirgle is an offshoot of Project Virgle started by the Virgle community. It was intended to be a way to prevent the spamming of the Project Virgle group, as for the most part only people who took the project seriously went to the bother of joining OpenVirgle.