Kavya NarayananFeb 19, 2019 14:20:26 IST
An ambitious plan to send people on a one-way trip to Mars, and air the entire trip as a reality TV show has come crashing down on colonising startup Mars One — they've run out of money.
Mars One's mission raised many eyebrows from their start in 2012, and Twitterati were only too happy to roast them after they met a predictable end.
I've been saying for years that Mars One was either a scam or a pack of fools or both. Now it's official. https://t.co/8e2hjwFj6D
— C. Stuart Hardwick (@CStuartHardwick) February 11, 2019
Mars One Project = Interplanetary Fyre Festival. pic.twitter.com/bkmjYW1SBV
— Matthew Inman (@Oatmeal) February 11, 2019
Mars One is dead: Mars One is done.
— Lifeboat Foundation (@LifeboatHQ) February 11, 2019
In 2012, Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdortp announced the company's insanely ambitious plan to send colonists to Mars and fund the project with a reality show about the selection process and a test colony right here on Earth. The plans for the reality TV bit were drawn up with help from an actual subject expert, too: Paul Römer, the producer of Big Brother.
And now, from dream to drama, the last few shreds of the company's optimism are tucked away in the company's website — a press note from the time the plan was just a sketch. And what classy sketches those were, too.
And that trailer, though.
Mars One was bought out by a Swiss financial holdings company in 2016, which too, is currently being liquidated. Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of the company confirmed the company's bankruptcy to Engadget, adding that they were working "to find a solution" to the financial pickle they're in.
Things aren't looking hopeful for the Mars colonist startup. In fact, the number of people that believe the entire effort was a scam from the start is growing by the day.
While the company's bankruptcy was officially filed on 15 January 2019, it was only picked up by a Swiss newspaper this week after Redditor S-Vineyard shared the news and proof in a thread. Commentors on Reddit — much like the Twitter crowd — expressed their surprise that it took as long as it did for the company to go under.
"It was a clear scam from day one, but sadly it got still naively defended by lots of space enthusiasts, even after investigative reports showed that it clearly was a scam," Redditor S-Vineyard says in his original thread.
Leading up to this week, plenty of evidence has surfaced to suggest either that Mars One's showrunners were all-out scammers or all-out fools.
Mars One announced that it received at least 2,00,000 applications from people that were delighted by the prospect of dying on another planet, but the real numbers were actually 2,761, according to a Matter report.
MIT even noted that within 68 days of touchdown, the first settlers will suffocate and die inside their failing habitats. Nobel-winning physicist Gerard't Hooft, who was listed as an advisor to the project till 2018, told the Guardian that it would take 100 years and not 10 for Mars One to succeed.
But hey, all that's history now (including that $5 donation we'll never get back)... Unless Mars One's threat of a mystery investor is real. If they do make a financial comeback, they're looking at a trial by fire from their supporters and haters alike.
Tech2 is now on WhatsApp. For all the buzz on the latest tech and science, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Tech2.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.