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Mar 20 2015

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Mars One is one giant boondoggle

All Dressed Up For Mars and Nowhere to Go. Dr. Joseph Roche, a Mars One finalist and former NASA researcher, reveals the shenanigans that are going on behind the scenes.

Among the many things the article reveals:

  • Mars One says that it received more than 200,000 applicants for its mission. The actual number was 2,761.
  • Many of the contenders for the mission have donated to Mars One, and indeed they are “encouraged” to donate all appearance and speaking fees back to Mars One.
  • “When you join the ‘Mars One Community,’ which happens automatically if you applied as a candidate, they start giving you points,” Roche explained to me in an email. “You get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them.”

    Ergo, the ones who have the greatest chance of getting selected are the ones who generated the most money for Mars One.

  • In spite of being a top 100 finalist, Dr. Roche has never actually met anybody from Mars One. Not even for interviews. Er…interview — one 10 minute Skype interview.
  • No rigorous medial or psychological testing has been done at all — I’d certainly love to be cooped up with a psychopath on a 9-month journey to Mars.

Here’s the article’s conclusion:

So, here are the facts as we understand them: Mars One has almost no money. Mars One has no contracts with private aerospace suppliers who are building technology for future deep-space missions. Mars One has no TV production partner. Mars One has no publicly known investment partnerships with major brands. Mars One has no plans for a training facility where its candidates would prepare themselves. Mars One’s candidates have been vetted by a single person, in a 10-minute Skype interview.

“Boondoggle” seems too lenient; how about “scam”?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/20/mars-one-is-one-giant-boondoggle/

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