Mars Zero: Finalist Says Mars Colonization Effort Not What It Seems

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Elmo Keep talks to Dr. Joseph Roche, an Irish professor who is one of the 100 finalists shortlisted for the first Mars One mission to the Red Planet. Roche paints a rather dismal picture of the venture, which hopes to being colonizing Mars in the mid-2020’s.  The article’s summary is devastating:

So, here are the facts as we understand them: Mars One has almost no money. Mars One has no contracts with private aerospace suppliers who are building technology for future deep-space missions. Mars One has no TV production partner. Mars One has no publicly known investment partnerships with major brands. Mars One has no plans for a training facility where its candidates would prepare themselves. Mars One’s candidates have been vetted by a single person, in a 10-minute Skype interview.

“My nightmare about it is that people continue to support it and give it money and attention, and it then gets to the point where it inevitably falls on its face,” said Roche. If, as a result, “people lose faith in NASA and possibly even in scientists, then that’s the polar opposite of what I’m about. If I was somehow linked to something that could do damage to the public perception of science, that is my nightmare scenario.”

I can’t say I’m overly surprised. The entire venture seemed half baked from the start; now it appears to be a gooey mass of bread dough filled with too much hot air and not enough yeast.

So, the questions for you, my faithful readers, is: Do I continue to cover this venture? Do you want to be kept up to date on their progress? Or should I ignore it until it implodes under its own weight?

Please feel free to weigh in below.

BBC Video Interview With Bas Lansdorp, UK Mars One Candidates

Video Caption: Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp is joined by UK Mars One Candidates Ryan MacDonald and Maggie Leiu to discuss the Mars One mission of BBC World news following the announcement of the final 100 Mars One astronaut candidates.

Mars One Effort Faltering as Doubts Grow

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Even as Mars One announced 100 finalists for its plan to colonize the red planet, things were beginning to go wrong behind the scenes, with a television production deal falling through and doubts about whether a pair of precursor missions would take place. The $6 billion has come under criticism for being unrealistic, with one expert suggesting it might be a fraud.

The most recent piece of bad news relates to a planned television program.

The venture’s accompanying reality TV show – which was to be made by the makers of Big Brother to document their training and new lives on the red planet – has been shelved after the companies were ‘unable to reach an agreement on details’, MailOnline has learned….

Instead, Mars One is working with a new production company to record the colonists’ progress.
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The Mars 100: Mars One Announces Round Three Candidates

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 16 February 2015 (Mars One PR) From the initial 202,586 applicants, only 100 hopefuls have been selected to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process. These candidates are one step closer to becoming the first humans on Mars.

“The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars,” said Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder & CEO of Mars One. “These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”

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Mars One Launches Interactive Mars Exchange

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands (Mars One PR)  – Mars One is excited to announce the launch of Mars Exchange, an interactive component of the Mars One Community Platform. The first article is an interview with Mason Peck, PhD, who is a professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, NASA’s former Chief Technologist and a Mars One adviser.

“Mars Exchange will foster a worldwide dialogue and encourage thought provoking conversations on the subject of the human permanence on Mars” commented Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder and CEO of Mars One. “Mars One advisers, NASA scientists, Mars One team members, and even a Nobel Prize winner will contribute.”

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Mars One Solicits Payloads for 2018 Lander

Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)
Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, June 30, 2014 (Mars One PR) – Mars One is extending a formal invitation to universities, research bodies, and companies to contribute to the payload of the 2018 unmanned Mars Lander. The best ideas will be chosen by a panel of experts. This mission will act as a staging point for the first-ever human mission to the red planet in 2025.

Mars One is soliciting proposals for four demonstration payloads that will demonstrate technologies for the human mission in 2025, proposals for one payload that will be elected in a world wide university competition, and proposals for two payloads that are for sale to the highest bidder. These last two payloads can be used for scientific experiments, marketing activities or anything inbetween.

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Mars One Teams With “Big Brother” Production Company for Space Reality Series

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Endemol-owned Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) will exclusively follow the selection and training of the world’s first one way astronauts to MarsCandidates chosen from over 200,000 applicants will be tested to the extreme in one of the most extraordinary and challenging job interviews ever seen

The winners will be the first to make the 300 million-mile journey to establish permanent human life on the red planet

DSP’s landmark production will be broadcast around the world and further announcements are due to follow soon

LONDON,  June 2, 2014 (Mars One PR) — Mars One and multi-award winning factual producer DSP (an Endemol company) today announced they have entered an international partnership to screen the mission to send the world’s first one way astronauts to Mars.

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Mars One Narrows Settler Field Down to 705

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Amersfoort, May 5, 2014 (Mars One PR) – Mars One announced that 353 hopefuls from around the world have been eliminated from the selection program to become the first human Mars colonists. The number of people remaining in this once in many lifetimes opportunity is now just 705.

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Mars One Begins Work on Simulation Mars Home for Crew

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 27 March 2014 (Mars One PR) – Mars One is excited to announce the launch of a simulation project to replicate the future Mars human outpost here on Earth.

Mars One will soon begin the process of construction of the first simulation outpost, which will be used for training selected astronauts and teams. The main purpose of an early version outpost is for potential crew members to gain early experience in the actual environment which will become their home on Mars.

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Lionsgate TV Teams with Mars One for Reality Series

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

It looks like Lionsgate TV has won the sweepstakes to produce the Mars One reality series, which will chronicle the effort by “eccentric Dutch billionaire entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp” to colonize the Red Planet.

Mars One calls for new groups of four to be sent to Mars every two years, beginning no later than 2024. Announced last year, the scientific project already has received almost 300,000 applications from all over the world, which are being whittled down. Lionsgate TV is expected to start its own casting search, with the two selection processes ultimately merged.

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Mars One Lander to Carry Uwingu Map to Red Planet

Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)
Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)

BOULDER, Colorado, March 3, 2014 (Uwingu PR) — Uwingu and the pioneering Mars One project (http://www.mars-­one.com/en/) announce a landmark partnership: All Mars One missions will carry Uwingu’s Mars Map to Mars, and will use these feature names as a part of Mars One’s mission operations at Mars. Additionally, a portion of Uwingu’s revenues generated by Mars feature naming will help fund Mars One missions.

Uwingu launched its Mars Crater Naming Project last week at www.uwingu.com, giving anyone in the public the opportunity to name any of the approximately 500,000 scientifically identified craters on Mars.

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This Week in Space Crowd Sourcing

Today Parabolic Arc begins a semi-regular feature looking at various space-related crowd sourcing fund-raising efforts out there.

Rocket Thermodynamix, LLC

Credit: Rocket Thermodynix
Credit: Rocket Thermodynamix

This side company founded by Luke Colby, technical lead of Scaled Composites’ Rocket Propulsion Group, is attempting to raise $25,000 to purchase a CNC lathe.  And what do you get for your contribution? A shot glass in the shape of a rocket engine combustion chamber. Learn more

Mars One

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)
Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Mars One is attempting to raise $400,000 to help fund its plan to build a permanent colony on the Red Planet. With six days to go, they are up to $188,880. Learn more

Penn State Lunar Lion

Landing vehicle in Earth orbit. (Credit: Penn State Lunar Lion)
Landing vehicle in Earth orbit. (Credit: Penn State Lunar Lion)

The Google Lunar X Prize team has launched a campaign to raise $406,536 on RocketHub. With 36 days left, they have raised $6,170. Learn more

Mars One Slashes Astronaut Selection Pool — But By How Much?

MarsOne_logoMars One has a press release out today saying they have slashed their applicant pool by “99.5%” from more than 200,000 to 1,058. As with previous claims, however, these numbers appear to hyped.

In a September press release, the group said the following (emphasis added):

“In the 5 month application period, Mars One received interest from 202,586 people from around the world, wanting to be amongst the first human settlers on Mars.”

That figure appeared to be the number of people who had registered on the website, not necessarily those who had paid a fee, completed the application and made a video of themselves explaining why they should be selected as required.

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