News websites and blogs are starting to ask the question more frequently as of late. Is Mars One a scam?
If you are not familiar with Mars One and what they are trying to achieve, a quick browse of their website will give you the broad over of their goal to send a team of humans to go and occupy the red planet.
The thing is that this is a one way trip. There is no return flight as with NASAs moon missions where astronauts could come back down to earth and bask in the lime light of the media or become part of jokes on the Big Bang Theory.
As stated on their site, “Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One’s mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide”.
An article published on The Telegraph in November 2014 however pointed out to a few problems that leading research institutions pointed to that support the motion that the mission might never get of the ground for starters.
- Researchers at the MIT revealed that any manned mission to Mars would result in the crew dying after 68 days
- Author Elmo Keep noted that Mars One’s projected cost of $6 billion is far less that any project proposed by NASA
Is Mars One a scam?
Elmo Keep pointed out the following issues during his research that leaves one to wonder whether the Mars One project is not an scam:
- The company claimed that they received over 200 000 applications. The chief medical advisor, Norbert Kraft, however revealed that he only processed 80 000 while only 2 782 video applications were made on the official website
- SpaceX is listed as one of the suppliers, yet Keep found that the company has no contracts in place with Mars One
- Big Brother creators Endemol were confirmed as the partners when the Mars One project was launched but their PR director told Keep that “Things are at a very early stage and we’re not yet in a position to add anything further to what was detailed in the press release.” Added to this, there is currently no network buyer for the show
Just those three points are cause for serious concern in our opinion.
From the 19 South Africans short listed for the mission, the Mail & Guardian reported in February of 2015 that 4 have progressed to round three and are now part of 100 hopefuls to be included on the one way trip. The site South Africa Info however reports that 5 South African made the next round. From a local perspective it raises the question why there would a be a difference in the numbers reported. One could argue that it is because Alexandra Doyle who currently reside in the UK is not considered to be a South African by the Mail & Guardian, but it still raises questions on the data presented. If you are undertaking a mission to Mars the discrepancy of 1 does make a difference when the pilot can’t simply turn around in mid flight.
Let’s assume that Mars is a scam and the only thing we as Earth get out of it is another reality TV show… would you really want to watch it?