Though Mars One has announced that only 100 people are still in the running for a one-way mission to Mars, their supposed training facility simulation outpost alpha still does not exist. And one would think building a simulation outpost would be the least challenging part of this plan.
It makes perfect sense to build a simulation Mars base on Earth, before sending one to the Red planet. After all a trip to Mars is a costly affair and you don’t want to discover that your outpost is not usable after spending billions of dollars in transporting the whole stuff. What does not make much sense, is to start selecting colonists – remember Mars One is about to leave Earth and never to return – before you have build your training facility.
One would suppose that Bas Lansdorp and his associates had enough time, as they claim to have started in 2011, to arrange a location for their training outpost. And such an outpost would be a sign of credibility for Mars One, as it would be something tangible. At the moment Mars One is nothing but a website with a vague plan.
Lansdorp & Co. have a serous credibility problem. There’s doubt about the actual number of applicants, which they claim is 200,000 but there’s no evidence for this number. And when Elmo Keep asked Lansdorp about this, the Mars One CEO was quite unwilling to provide any access to the list of applicants. Also the companies which are supposed to have signed contracts with Mars One, deny that any definite contracts have been signed.
The idea is that those who are selected to go to Mars to die there, will train at the simulation outpost for seven years. Given that the current schedule is to land on Mars by 2027 (earlier dates have been 2023 and 2025), the simulation outpost has to be built before 2020. Hence I would say that if Lansdorp & Co. will have failed to build any outpost by 2020 then we could be certain that Mars One is a failure.
I know land is expensive but prices vary around the world. And aren’t there any landowners who might be willing to lend a piece of their land to Mars One? Even if land has to be rented, the outpost could be opened as a tourist attraction and raise some money for the trip to Mars – after all every peace of money would helpful.
Elmo Keep’s article on “Mars One” – one of the better journalistic treatments of this silly group