Just one month after the announcement of the 100 “finalists” selected by MarsOne – a Dutch nonprofit company that’s promising to establish a permanent colony on the Red Planet by 2025 – a scathing exposé has been published online that reveals some of the behind-the-scenes processes that have been going on for applicants, as described by selected finalist Dr. Joseph Roche, who happens to be an astrophysicist and assistant professor at Trinity College’s School of Education in Dublin, Ireland.
In fact, based on the article in Medium, it not only sounds like MarsOne will be unable to deliver on their promises in any reasonable fashion – they may even be a fraud. (A suggested donation of 75% of any interviewees’ profits to the company??)
MarsOne has had its doubters and detractors from the very start, many of them from the spaceflight and engineering sector who don’t see how any of the company’s goals can actually be achieved… especially with a lack of funding, industry partnerships, and most of all in such an unreasonably short timespan.
And yes, I admit I was one of the many hopeful folks who really wanted this to become a reality. But while I understood that there would have been inherent risks to such a venture, you’d have hoped that all reasonable precautions would have been taken by MarsOne to mitigate dangers to their crews, including (but not limited to) an incredibly meticulous selection process, thorough training and education, and top-of-the-line engineering and manufacturing of all equipment to be developed and used.
Unfortunately none of that appears to be the case, and the way this is unfolding I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole house of cards come tumbling down within the next few weeks… if not sooner.
“…all the info they have collected on me is a crap video I made, an application form that I filled out with mostly one-word answers… and then a 10-minute Skype interview. That is just not enough info to make a judgment on someone about anything.”
– Dr. Joseph Roche, MarsOne finalist (via Medium.com)
It will be interesting to see how MarsOne responds to all of this. As yet, it has not. But the ball is definitely in their court now.
Also, read more about our chances of getting to Mars anytime soon in this article on NPR.
UPDATE 3/18: as a response (i.e., rebuttal) to the above mentioned article by “that rascally” Elmo Keep, other MarsOne candidates have weighed in on the points mentioned by Dr. Roche in defense of the company and its goals.
“Scam implies profit. If Mars One is a scam, show who you think is getting rich.”
– Unidentified MarsOne candidate
Read the full article on Medium here, and also you can watch a response video from MarsOne candidate Ryan MacDonald below: