Thousands of people wanted to participate in the ambitious idea, but then the project faced problems and fraud charges.

Head of Mars One Bass Landdorp
Head of Mars One Bass Landdorp

The civil court of the city of Basel declared bankrupt the company Mars One – one of the first organizations that promised to deliver people to Mars for the purpose of colonization. The decision was taken as early as January 2019, but it was not known before it was reported by one of the Reddit users who found records from the court. Head of the project Bas Lansdorp (Bas Lansdorp) confirmed the bankruptcy of the publication Engadget, but stressed that “he will seek a solution.”

The history of Mars One began in 2012. The project launched a global search for volunteers who would like to be the first colonists of Mars. According to the organizers, the questionnaire sent more than 200 thousand people. Later, the list was reduced to 100 finalists (among which were three girls from Russia) – according to the initial plan, four of them would fly to another planet as early as 2023.

But then the project ran into a string of problems, accusations, and suspicions of fraud. By the time the bankruptcy was announced, Mars One had not talked about plans for several years.

  • Back in 2014, the media criticizedMars One for trying to make a reality show out of a flight to Mars. The cameras were to follow the colonists, and the selection was based on open questionnaires on the site. One of the criteria for the final part of the selection was a set of points for its activity;
  • In 2015, one of the finalists of the project, astrophysicist Joseph Roche (Joseph Roche), spokeabout the financial problems of Mars One and poor organization. According to him, the astronauts were selected on a short test and a short interview in Skype;
  • In the same year, it was reported that the Mars One leadership had lied about the number of applications for a space flight, and in fact they received not 200 thousand applications, but about 3 thousand;
  • An independent team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announcedthat the Mars One Mars plan would almost certainly kill all the colonists in the very first days;
  • In March 2015, Landsdorp rejectedall charges of fraud, but postponed the start of the project to 2027. The last time the date was shifted in 2031. According to the original plan, the rover should have landed on the planet to explore and find a suitable place for the colony.