“Mars One will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.” People have dreamed about it for years, and it is finally starting to happen. 100 people will be sent to Mars for permanent living, through the Dutch non-profit company Mars One. In 2024, they will begin to send up groups of 4 people, and from there on four more will be sent every two years until all 100 people are there. At this current time, they are preparing the living quarters, the rovers, and the satellites. In 2018, they will begin to start sending the equipment up.

Mars One Habitat

In theory, the Mars One project sounds incredible. It seems to be the next big step for mankind. But with every project of this scale there are going to be questions, counter opinions, and even skepticism. Many say that Mars One is misrepresenting their program. Some are even calling it a scam.

Joseph Roche, an astrophysicist at Trinity College in Dublin is one of the 100 finalists picked for the Mars One mission. Recently, he wrote for the highly respected British publication, The Guardian, expressing his skepticism. He reports the media is drastically amplifying the positive aspects and statistics and the testing for applicants is not rigorous or transparent enough. On top of that, he also alleges many of the leading contenders have paid for their spots and did not “earn” them. He says even though he is part of the final 100, he has yet to meet any of the Mars One people in person; everything has been online or on the phone. After Roche publicly stated this, other finalists have come out, contradicting what he had said, and stood by the validity of Mars One.

Lander to be launched by Mars One will likely look
similar to NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander (pictured)

Another large aspect of the skepticism is the funding. Since last month, Mars One has delayed the mission by two years. This was supposedly due to funding issues when their biggest investor, Endemol, a Dutch entertainment firm (known for the TV show Big Brother) pulled out for "being unable to reach an agreement on details." Originally, they were going to offer nearly 6 billion US dollars to the program and create a reality TV show, documeting  the experience. The show was projected to begin in early 2015. Endemol states that the deal is off, yet Mars One still seems to be optimistic about the deal. Out of their 6 billion budget, Mars One has only raised just over half a million.

Bas Lansdorp, the CEO of Mars One addresses many of these concerns on their brandsite. He insists Mars One is not dependent on Endemol or other investors, that in fact the majority of its funding will be raised through investments.

Bas Lansdorp, CEO and Co-founder of Mars OnCEO of Mars One claims it is a “misconception” that they are relying on Endemol's funding and that they are primarily relying on private investors to come up with the money for the project.

Mars One Rover concept

Even with so much negativity and skepticism aimed at the project, Mars One stays committed. They claim, “We really value criticism because it helps up to improve our mission.” 

Aside from their PR and enthusiasm, it is still difficult to know how feasible Mars One is in reality. People feel strongly about the mission both ways and the progress regularly changes. The only way for us to find out what is going to happen is to stay updated on the situation and progress of the funding and the mission itself.

- Kylie -


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