Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Mars One is dead

Mars One is dead

Mars One, a Dutch company that planned to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars and start the first human colony on the Red Planet, has been declared bankrupt.

It's a flimsy business model at best, but Mars One Ventures says its new investor is willing to carry the company's financial burden while it turns its dreams into reality.

Mars One had initially planned to land people on Mars in 2023, setting the monumental task of solving a litany of technical and practical challenges and raising an estimated $6 billion to pay for a mission to another planet.

It was assumed that the main source of funding for the project will be a live television show that will broadcast the daily life of the colonists on Mars.

By 2015, a Mars One insider had blown the whistle on the organization. Although the non-profit arm of the company is alive, it lacks investment to do anything. Also, in 2014, two graduate students from MIT created a report looking at the feasibility of the Mars One mission, claiming that the technology was simply not mature enough for the plan to work and that it would require far more cash and deliveries of extra parts than the mission claimed. That means Mars One is at risk of liquidation, after an appeals court in the Swiss canton Basel-Stadt affirmed the firm's bankruptcy status earlier this month.

For now, that's all Mars One is saying on the matter. The list was cut down to 1,058 finalists - who then went through several more rounds of reductions. That was confirmed today by Mars One, which announced that the corporation is indeed in administration.

Describing its potential astronauts, Mars One said it was looking for people who are "intelligent, creative, psychologically stable and physically healthy".

The author of the project Bas Lansdorp says that is not going to give up and look for a solution that would be acceptable to all stakeholders.

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