Mars One alleges it wants to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by funding it with a reality television show, but it may be a money-making scheme.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. They Claim the Mission Starts in 2018
According to the Mars One website:
Mars One will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Crews of four will depart every two years, starting in 2024. Our first unmanned mission will be launched in 2018. Join the Global Mars One Community and participate in our mission to Mars.
But many are claiming current human technology would not be able to support such an endeavor. And one of the 100 shortlisted “contestants”, Dr. Joseph Roche, an assistant professor at Trinity College’s School of Education in Dublin, with a Ph.D. in physics and astrophysics, says it’s a scam.
2. They Lied About Numbers
Mars One claims that it received about 200,000 applications from interested people before whittling down the candidates to the 100, but according to Dr. Roche this isn’t true.
Media outlets like CNN reported the inflated number.
3. People Buy Their Candidacy
The most bizarre revelation that Dr. Roche revealed was that people “selected” for Mars One buy their candidacy, and the more money they give to the project the higher their probability of being selected is. Which is crazy because the project is estimated to cost $6 billion dollars, which any normal individual contribution would only be a drop in the bucket towards.
When you join the ‘Mars One Community,’ which happens automatically if you applied as a candidate, they start giving you points… You get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them.
4. The ‘Top 10 Prospects’ Contributed the Most Money
Last month The Guardian released the names of the top 10 prospects for Mars One in article titled Mars One shortlist: the top 10 hopefuls. Mars One also released a video with interviews of some of the hopefuls, however Dr. Roche claims that these individuals merely have generated the most amount of money towards the project.
The process to get selected was far from scientific, either. Mars One’s much reported selection process had candidates to complete an online questionnaire, upload a video to the project’s website, plus get a physical from a candidate’s primary doctor.
Compared to NASA’s astronaut requirements, the process is laughable. The most obvious is that to be an astronaut with NASA, a person must have “At least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Flight test experience is highly desirable.”
5. Dr. Roche Has Met No One From Mars One
Despite being placed on the candidacy shortlist, Dr. Roche says the only contact he had from Mars One was a Skype interview.
Other emerging reports show that the reality show deal claimed to finance the endeavor has also fallen through. SkyNews reports that “suspicious critics believe the mission is a publicity stunt to raise revenue for a reality television series produced by Big Brother producer Endemol.”
But even Endemol has stated that it had never come to a contractual agreement with Mars One.