Technology 2 min read

Mars One Foundation Officially Declares Bankruptcy

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A Redditor that goes by the handle S-Vineyard revealed that Mars One, the Dutch company who once made headlines for its ambitious Mars colonization dream, is now officially bankrupt.

The firm was founded in 2012 by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp. Back then, Mars One proudly stated that it would make history by taking humans to the Red Planet.

Lansdorp and his organization have asked people interested in the project to submit video applications and pay cold hard cash in exchange for the opportunity to be selected as one of the first few people to go to Mars. The selection process was supposed to be made via a reality TV show.

The company claimed that it received nearly 80,000 applications. However, NASA researcher Joseph Roche who volunteered for the project revealed in 2015 that only 2,761 people applied.

Roche also revealed that the chosen videos were not even from the most capable astronauts but from people who gave the most money to Mars One.

“When you join the ‘Mars One Community,’ which happens automatically if you applied as a candidate, they start giving you points,” Roche explained.

“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.”

The Death of Mars One

Mars One was comprised of the non-profit Mars One Foundation and the for-profit Mars One Ventures. The latter, which valued at almost $100 million, was declared bankrupt by a Basel court on January 15th.

In an interview with Engadget, Lansdorp confirmed that the foundation still operates but won’t be able to push the company’s cause without further investment. The Dutch entrepreneur also said that they are currently working with third parties to salvage what’s left of Mars One.

Unlike Elon Musk or NASA who seek funding through the government, philanthropy, or other ventures, Landsorp believes that TV exposure would offer enough funds to sustain his dream.

Mars One’s goal was deemed questionable by many organizations and researchers. In fact, a study conducted by MIT researchers on the project’s many claims suggested that Mars One’s plan would kill all of the colonists immediately.

Who do you think would make it to Mars first?

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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