The Mars One program is as simple as it is fuzzy: lead selections to find a team of settlers who will be sent to Mars to establish a base between 2022 and 2024.
To find its funding, the space company should transform the final phases of selection and training of settlers into a reality TV show. The sale of the program and the advertising to develop the various accommodation modules, vessels and other costs related to the entire project.
In the end, 12 couples will be sent to Mars, and the selection phases are already well underway, since out of 202,000 candidates, there are now only 100 left.
Today, one of these finalists, Joseph Roche, doctor of physics and astrophysics and professor at the University of Dublin evokes the impression of dealing with a hoax.
It thus indicates to the Medium site "When you enter the Mars One community, you start to be awarded points. You get these points during the selection all (the number of points is completely arbitrary and has nothing to do with your ranking). from there, the only way to get more points is to buy or donate Mars One merchandising. "
It would not be just advertising and reality TV that would be put in place to collect money, applicants are directly involved to "deserve" their ticket to Mars.
The 100 finalists also received a guide to " good practices" to be implemented in the presence of the press. It is thus evoked there "If you are offered money for an interview, don't hesitate to accept it. We recommend that you donate 75% of what you earn through it to Mars One."
Joseph Roche notes that, by the way, he never met any company officer or any visible staff. Initial regional meetings eventually turned into a Skype conference lasting just 10 minutes.
According to him, it was not 200,000 volunteers who came to the company for a trip without return to Mars, but only 2,761. The company voluntarily inflated the figures to get the buzz.
Regarding the progress of the mission and the selection methods, the vagueness remains. A medical interview with a Mars One doctor (Norbert Kraft) carried out by Skype particularly marked Joseph Roche. He was talking about his knowledge of literature dealing with the planet Mars, his knowledge of the Mars One project and the mission he had been given … Nothing concerning psychological or psychomotor tests.
Considering that a candidate for any space flight on the NASA side must have accumulated at least 1000 hours of flight, the selection of Mars One is puzzling.
The project now has lead in the wing. The partnership with Endemol for the production of the reality TV show, from which Mars One wanted to draw $ 6 billion, is no longer relevant. Meanwhile, several experts have indicated that it would be impossible to send men to Mars in such a small window.
Currently, Mars One does not have enough funds to launch its project, and it is not the 100 finalists who will be able to finance alone the program with the reinforcement of purchases of T-shirts, mugs and other merchandising products. No investor is known to date, the company no longer has any TV partner …
The business therefore turns into a fiasco, and a scam since the company continues to ask the finalists to share their income and spend in the official project store to secure a place in the mission.