You’re not going to believe this, but the pie-in-the-sky plan to colonize Mars via a kooky reality show is dead.
Mars One, the ill-fated for-profit project to take humanity to the Red Planet and pay for it by turning the whole affair into a TV show, has met its ill fate. The plan died with a whimper last month in Swiss bankruptcy court. A Reddit user noticed the court filing.
Mars One began with a splashy launch back in 2012 by founder and Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp. His organization asked people to send in video applications and pay cold hard cash for the opportunity to be chosen to make history. By 2013, the company claimed that nearly 80,000 people had done so.
But going to Mars is a ridiculously complicated multi-billion-dollar affair, and Mars One never really proved it was serious enough to tackle the interplanetary challenge. And then, things went from “dream on” to “oh, no.”
By 2015, a Mars One insider had blown the whistle on the organization. Among the many scandalous details, that report claimed that just 2,761 people had applied to Mars One—a far cry from the claimed number in the tens and eventually hundreds of thousands. In addition, it said, the people chosen as finalists to go to Mars were not the most inspiring or capable, but simply the folks who’d given the most money to Mars One. And in a surprise to no one, the whistleblower said Mars One had no real budget or concrete plan to even go to Mars, much less set up shop there.
Later that year, we reported that the Mars One mission was essentially uninsurable. As more bad headlines came forward, the world recognized Mars One for the nonsense it always was, and the group began to disappear from the news.
Humans will go to Mars. But not this way.