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The Company That Promised a One-way Ticket To Mars Has Declared Bankruptcy

Mars One originally set to colonize Mars before 2023.


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In September 2013, Mars One closed its open call for volunteers to live in inflatable homes. More than 200,000 applied for a four-spot team, which was ultimately a one-way ticket to the planet to foster the first human settlement to leave Earth. On January 15, 2019, the project declared bankruptcy, according to Dezeen.

Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars One, had one goal in mind: Get a team of four people to Mars before 2023, with a goal of habitating 20 on the planet before 2030. The plan, as laid out on the project’s website, was seemingly simple on paper: “Several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement before carefully selected and trained crews will depart to Mars.”

Mars One utilized a number of fundraising methods to attempt to find its projected $6 billion budget, from crowdfunding to selling merchandise. All of its efforts pulled in a mere $1 million, according to Ars Technica.

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Faith in the Mars One project within the industry as a whole was—and continues to be—hard to come by. A quick skim of a marathon-length essay on the impending failure of the project in The Space Review will tell you that. If you’re short on time, here’s a taste of what they had to say: “Undoubtedly, Mars One has captured the zeitgeist with disproportionately optimistic media coverage heralding the selection of a group of hopeful colonists.”

Yikes. For now, we’ll just have to set our sights on the next plan to explore other galactic homes.


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