Colonizing Mars is a bold and expensive endeavor that has captured the imagination of many space enthusiasts for decades. Financing the trip through a reality tv show is an even bolder proposition but that hasn’t stopped Mars One from giving it a shot. Now in what is the first major development for the project since its announcement this June, Mars One has gotten its first sponsors in what they hope will be man’s first real effort to colonize another planet.
According to Space.com, Dutch companies Byte Internet, VBC Notarissen, New-Energy.tv, and MeetIn are now sponsors of the project along with the Australia-based Dejan SEO. While the sponsorship pool remains mostly Dutch and relatively small they could provide enough capital for Mars One to get a good start on the project and possibly pave the way to the international support that will be necessary to finance the trip. The General Director of Dejan SEO, Dan Petrovic, is excited about the new partnership.
Mars One is not just a daring project, but the core of what drives human spirit towards exploration of the unknown. We are privileged to be a supporter of this incredible project.
While Mars One will seek funding through its reality show aspect, it is merely a means to get sponsorship and public interest up for Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp’s plan to slowly but surely colonize the red planet with a steady stream of people willing to live on Mars for the rest of their lives. Mars One believes that it will cost about $6 billion in all to get the first four permanent colonists there by 2023 and plans to send more groups of four every 2 years. The reality show portion of the plan is slated to begin next year with a pool of 40 contestants competing for the chance to get stranded on another planet and have their every move televised like a version of Big Brother in space.
That’s quite an ambitious and expensive time table, especially since the primary mode of transport they are seeking to use, the Falcon Heavy rocket under development by SpaceX, is still in the design phase. When you are designing a new rocket, especially one with a lifting capacity that hasn’t been approached since we went to the Moon, you can pretty much count on delays and setbacks, so Mars One’s plans to use the Falcon Heavy in that given time frame are extremely optimistic at best. That optimism is also evident in their hopes to have a suitable means of transportation for humans on a long duration deep space journey by then as well.
Mars One may or may not actually have the means to put people on Mars, but at lest the televised astronaut training and selection process could make for some interesting reality TV for a change.