Mars One mission CEO Bas Lansdorp, has responded to the many complaints about his company which has come under fierce criticism in recent months. In the face of his many detractors saying the mission is simply not feasible, he answers that ‘the truth has not been reported.’
He is denying claims that some applicants had paid their way, so they could be included in the one way trip to Mars, but he revealed a two-year delay to the mission overall, with the first manned Mars landing to be moved until 2027.
You get points for getting through each round of the selection process, and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them.’
He said those who shell out more stands a better chance of progressing, if applicants received any money for media appearances, a mandatory donation of 75 per cent to Mars One is required.
He said that he had not met anyone in the selection process nor has he received psychological or psychometric testing, which Mars One claims is an integral part of the appraisals.
Elmo Keep calls it a ‘hopelessly flawed scheme’.
Responding to the claims, Mr Lansdorp said: ‘That article simply contains a lot of things that are not true.’
He continued: ‘For example, the allegations made that our candidates were selected on the basis on how much money they donate to Mars One.
That is simply not true and this is very easy to find that on our website.”
‘There are a lot of current Round Three candidates that did not make any donations to Mars One and there is also lot of people that did not make it to the third round that contributed a lot to Mars One.’
He also disproved claims there only 2,700 applicants, compared to the 200,000 stated by Mars One.
‘It seems that she [Elmo Keep] is more interested in writing a sensational article about Mars One than in the truth,’ he added.
Mr Lansdorp adamantly declared that the applicants had gone through a rigorous selection process which includes psychological questions.
Though he did admits, that they had asked candidates to share any proceeds they make through the company, which he said candidates were more than happy to do.
‘Many want all the money to go to Mars One’s mission – but that is really up to them,’ he said.
As MailOnline previously reported, he revealed they are in search of a new production outfit after Endemol pulled out and addressed concerns that the £4 billion ($6 billion) cost quoted for the mission was a major underestimate.
£23 billion ($35 billion) is needed for a return mission, according to Nasa, but since Mars One is only going one way, Mr Lansdorp says the costs can be slashed.
‘We are very confident that our budget will be enough,’ he said.
But he also said that an agreement with a consortium of investors was taking ‘longer than expected’ and, as such, the first unmanned mission needs to be delayed by two years, from 2018 to 2020.
This means that the first human touchdown to the red planet is now moved until 2027.
First announced in 2011, it isn’t only Dr Roche who voiced his concerns, but the proposed mission has been widely criticized. Reasons that Mars One will fall flat on its face are enumerated as lack of funding, no signs of development and an overly ambitious ‘reality TV’ approach, to mention a few.