Remember Mars One, the company we all knew was a scam, but still a little hope was right because of how much we liked the movie Martianen? Yes, it went bankrupt.
Mars One was a Dutch company whose goal was to "establish a permanent human settlement on Mars." You may remember it from its much-argued announcement that it recruited ordinary people to become astronauts for a one-way trip to Mars. But you can also remember that it would probably never work.
According to the trade register of the Swiss canton of Basel, a court declared Mars One, which became bankrupt. January 15, 2019.
The company hoped to build capital to finance the mission through donations, sales of goods and contracts with media companies for the production of documentaries and other content. It was starting to contract with Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology for a lander and orbiter, according to SpaceNews. But it seems that funding is running out.
Deficiencies became evident in the company's financing strategy, astronaut selection process and virtually all other activities. I urge you to read the journalist Elmo Keep's in-depth report on the matter. But basically, the selection process was not strict, future astronauts were invited to help fund the mission, and you can't just pay for a Mars mission with the promise of a good story.
Scientists didn't think Mars One would work, either. MIT research showed that the mission would not bring enough food, and the technology is not advanced enough to maintain an atmosphere that humans could survive on the red planet. I should also note that the company's own website implies that it had not hired any experts yet – Keep's reporting suggested that the company only had a handful of employees.
We've reached Mars One's CEO, Bas Lansdorp, as well as some of Mars One's investors, and we'll update the post when we hear back.
Listen, I know we are starting to put our faith in the private industry as a way to get people on Mars. But it will take much more than hype, donations and merchandise sales. Powerful science and millions of millions of dollars will also be required.[via Reddit]