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

Courtesy Mars One

Mars One originally set to colonize Mars before 2023.

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.


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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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Courtesy Mars One

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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.