Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

A Thriller Investor Might Save the Bankrupt Mars One Mission

A Thriller Investor Might Save the Bankrupt Mars One Mission

Mars One, the company that promised to colonize Mars with human volunteers and make a reality TV show about it, has gone bankrupt, crushing the dreams of its willing participants and drawing "I told you so's" from its critics.

The Mars One project consisted of the non-profit Mars One Foundation and the Mars One Ventures business.

It's fair to say the years haven't been easy going on Mars One's operations. The development of space ships for the delivery of colonists to Mars and the construction of their residential modules and life support systems was carried out by private contractors. Along the way, Mars One also fended off accusations that it was running a scam, getting people to pay almost $40 for a remote chance to travel in space.

The company planned to document every step of the journey to Mars, including the selection of astronauts and their training.

Then again, Mars One says a lot of things. A portion of the press release explains what the company has been doing lately, which has very little to do with traveling to Mars: During the last few months, discussions have been held with a new investment company.

Meanwhile, the non-profit Mars One Foundation, according to Landorp, is still in operation, but it will not be able to continue without further funding.

Mars One - which began in the Netherlands and now has ties to a Swiss financial services company - says it's been talking to investors and hopes to emerge from the bankruptcy process intact. 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.

The company's creator, Bas Lansdorp has also confirmed the news of bankruptcy stating he was working on a solution. After all, Mars One itself isn't an engineering firm, and has no operations in building space craft.

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