Finalist criticises Mars One selection process

23 March 2015 - 13:35 By Times LIVE
BRAVE NEW WORLD: A graphic depiction of the Mars One project, showing the 'habitats' envisaged for the first settlers. The planet's thin atmosphere will force them to live in cylinders or wear spacesuits Picture: BRYAN VERSTEEG/MARS ONE
BRAVE NEW WORLD: A graphic depiction of the Mars One project, showing the 'habitats' envisaged for the first settlers. The planet's thin atmosphere will force them to live in cylinders or wear spacesuits Picture: BRYAN VERSTEEG/MARS ONE

Amidst a tidal wave of criticism that has caste doubt on whether the Mars One mission will happen, one of the top 100 finalist has spoken out against the project.

Dr. Joseph Roche, an assistant professor at Trinity College’s School of Education in Dublin, with a Ph.D. in physics and astrophysics  was one of the 100 finalists for Mars One, a one-way mission to Mars according to medium.com.

According to his interview with Elmo Keep, it works a bit like Candy Crush - it is pay-to-win.

“You get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them,” Roche told Keep in an email.

According to Roche, the top ten finalists for the Mars One mission are simply the ones who earned them the most money.

“That means all the info they have collected on me is a crap video I made, an application form that I filled out with mostly one-word answers… and then a 10-minute Skype interview,” Roche said. “That is just not enough info to make a judgment on someone about anything.”

This isn't the first time questions have been raised about the likelyhood of Mars One actually going anywhere.

The Daily Mail reported in February that the company parted ways with Endemol.

"DSP and Mars One were unable reach agreement on the details of the contract and DSP is no longer involved in the project," Endemol-owned Darlow Smithson Productions told the UK newspaper.

TV rights were expected to finance the bulk of the $6 billion mission.

Without those TV rights - well so far the project has gotten $760,000 in the way of donations.

Gerard ’t Hooft, a Dutch Nobel laureate and ambassador for Mars One, told The Guardian that the time scale set for Mars One was unrealistic.

“It will take quite a bit longer and be quite a bit more expensive. When they first asked me to be involved I told them ‘you have to put a zero after everything’,” Hooft said.

In other words, it would probably launch closer to 2124 than 2024.

According to an MIT report, "The establishment of a colony on Mars will rely on in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) and life support technologies that are more capable than the current state of the art."

"A first simulation of the baseline Mars One habitat indicated that with no ISRU-derived resources, the first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission. This would be a result of suffocation from too low an oxygen partial pressure within the environment."

Insurers don't want to touch it according to Popular Mechanics.

"Although Mars One mission claims that the technology will be flight-proven, there's no way to gauge that this will be the experience of the crew in an unproven environment," Ludovic Arnoux, Global Head of Aviation Risk Consulting for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty told the magazine.

Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp has come out in defence of the project on YouTube, claiming that it is not a scam and the mission will happen.

 

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