Often, haste makes waste. Is this the case here with Mars One. Was the program fast-tracked? Or is it the lack of funding that did the mission in? While a target is still in place, is it attainable or just a piece of window dressing to cover up where the project will end up: in a trash bin where thousands other projects ended up in failure?
Please read on and judge for yourself.
Mars One Program has a mission: to land astronauts on the Red Planet in no more than ten years. However, technical issues have caused a significant delay on the project. Fortunately, that does not change the first 100 applicants who volunteered to head for the planet and die there, writes The Huffington Post.
A report asserted that Mars One only has months to fulfill their goal of launching in 2018. Any longer will lead to a two-year delay. “If we cannot make this deadline we are always flexible in moving another two years,” Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp told SpaceNews.”That’s a decision that we will have to make before the summer.”
At present, the plans for Mars One’s 2018 mission consist of an unmanned investigation, having to land a robotic craft on the surface and launching a British-made communications satellite into orbit around the red planet. It is presumed that they will be using a critical “launch window” where Mars and Earth are positioned just right to make the trip between the two planets faster and cheaper.
Still, if Mars One won’t make it on schedule, the next chance will yet be in 2020. But up to this time, Mars One has made an effort and failed to raise $400,000 for its mission in 2014 on Kickstarter. Yet, without being too affected by the problem, the program still says that funding is still obtainable for the launch. A new scientist also revealed via SpaceNews that the scheduled work on the mission is already beset with problems. He said that Lockheed Martin, the one who completed a concept study for the mission, and Surrey Satellites, who designed the orbiter, have both discontinued their planned work on the mission. However, both companies told SpaceNews that not receiving any news from Mars One since finishing their studies is not an uncommon incident.
“SSTL delivered the concept study for the Mars One communications system last year,” SSTL spokeswoman Joelle Sykes told the website. “There are no follow-on activities underway at the moment.
“Lockheed Martin has concluded the initial contract with Mars One in which we performed mission formulation studies and developed payload interface specifications to support the selection of a payload suite for the 2018 Mars robotic lander,” the company stated.
“We continue to maintain an open channel of communications with Mars One and await initiation of the next phase of the program.” Mars One CEO Landsdorp said that the non-profit is “currently reviewing the results of the work our suppliers did and are preparing for the next contracts, so we’re simply in between contracts.”
He also said that while their transaction with Endemol to advance and fund the mission had failed, the company will be filming a documentary with Stateless Media. While the mission is delayed, NASA and the ESA are also planning their missions to Mars.