Convincing myself it was only a matter of time doesn’t ease a simmering annoyance with Mars One. In recent years corporate interest in private space flight surfaced with increasing regularity. Virgin Galactic is attempting private space excursions, talk of mineral exploration, and private trips to the International Space Station are commonplace. Mars One is different – forget funding, practical science, technology or common sense. Mars One inked a reality television deal.
February 16, 2015 Dutch based Mars One announced their list of “top 100” candidates for a one way ticket to Mars in 2024. NBC television announced a “reality” program to select 24 finalists from 50 men and 50 women destined to establish permanent Martian settlement – a one way ticket with no chance of ever returning to Earth. A peek at Mars One website cemented my suspicion, it was nothing more than opportunistic marketing – mindless fluff aimed at being first to corner an angle.
In this day and age minor details such as funding and probability of success evaporate once “reality” comes knocking. Mars One corporation is officially “non-profit” – ponder that a moment. A non-profit organization announces one way tickets to Mars in a 2013 contest, receives over 200,000 applicants, then announces 100 finalists before the ink is dry on a reality TV series. Feeble encouragement of “donations” suffocate the Mars One site. I like their “Business Model” link – interested corporate sponsors can look at a nifty graph illustrating benefits of Olympic corporate sponsorship. Apparently sponsorship delivers gold medal profits.
It would be tough to find a more fervent supporter of cosmic discovery than myself – harder still to find another as disgusted by Mars One audacity.