Former NASA researcher, Dr Joseph Roche claims that there have been far fewer applicants for the mission than the 200,000 Mars One claimed had volunteered for a one-way mission to the Red Planet in 2025.
The academic, from Trinity College’s School of Education in Dublin, also says that company representatives focused purely on earning money, went back on promises to meet applicants in person and appeared to have a laissez-faire attitude to safety. He has called for the company to ‘own up’ to the fact that there will never be a mission to Mars.
Metro Report: It has not been disclosed how much money the company has taken in donations for its proposed mission.
An MIT study into the mission last year suggested that the astronauts would die within days of arriving on Mars – and Roche said that the organisers were cavalier about safety.
Roche says, ‘After completing the interview stage I felt that the selection process was not rigorous enough to reach the requisite standard of more traditional astronaut selection programmes.
‘I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with several astronauts and if you spend any time with an astronaut you will soon see that they are as close to being superhuman as a person can be. To select such a person requires a comprehensive and exhaustive procedure.
Instead, Mars One ‘chose’ candidates purely for their capacity to garner publicity – and earn money.
Roche says that candidates were urged to do interviews for money, with the company saying, ‘If you are offered payment for an interview then feel free to accept it. We do kindly ask for you to donate 75% of your profit to Mars One.’
Last month a list appeared with “the top 10 candidates” for the Mars One mission. This list was put together after “the organisers ranked the candidates by points”. These points are “Mars One supporter points” which “represent the degree of your support to Mars One’s mission”. These points serve only to show how much each supporter has donated to Mars One.
There are other bad signs for Mars One report IFLScience: The organization’s contract with production company Endemol is no longer in place; Mars One was hoping to generate $6 billion from a reality show. A former adviser to the project, theoretical physicist Gerard Hooft, said a realistic launch date isn’t 10 years from now — it’s 100 years.
The CEO of Mars One Bas Lansdorp has responded in a video saying a lot of the bad press is untrue. “There are a lot of current round three candidates that did not make any donations to Mars One and there are also lot of people that did not make it to the third round that contributed a lot to Mars One,” he says. “The two things are not related at all and to say that they are is simply a lie.” He also announces a 2 year delay in Mars One’s schedule which means that the first crew is now scheduled to land in 2027.