Mars One's plan to colonise Mars is dead and either fraud or fools are to blame

If you had your hopes on them to give a one-way escape to Mars, you'll need to find a new plan.

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.

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.

Mars Ones plan to colonise Mars is dead and either fraud or fools are to blame

Image courtesy: Mars One

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.

An illustration of the proposed Mars colony. Image courtesy: Mars One

An illustration of the proposed Mars colony. Image courtesy: Mars One

"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.

Mars One's Facebook banner

Mars One's Facebook banner "Come with us". Image courtesy: Mars One

Reports by MIT News, Matter, Inverse, the GuardianParagon Space Corp (former technology partner of Mars One), The Space Review and Gizmodo poked massive holes in the company's plans years ago.

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.

Ouch.

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.

It's time to put our money back on the NASA and SpaceX horses — both of which have tried-and-tested rockets and a track record of sending things (and people in NASA's case) to space.

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