Mars One Received First Investments, Programs to Launch This Year
A daughter company of Mars One, the company that will establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023 (if no one else is faster, that is), announced on Tuesday that they received their first investments, which will be used to finance the Conceptual Design Studies and the launch of the global Astronaut Selection Program. Interplanetary Media Group manages the intellectual property and media associated with the human mission to Mars, which is a crucial part in the project since everything is based on the plan to shoulder the gigantic costs by marketing the Mars mission in the biggest global media event ever, facilitating interactive and live broadcasts of every aspect of the mission, from launch to landing to living on Mars - a mind-boggling but realistic business model, considering the huge interest of people in human exploration of space that allows drawing larger audiences than the Olympics.
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Kai Staats, Director of Business Development for Mars One states, "Organizing a human mission to Mars is a tremendously complex venture. There are many engineering hurdles to overcome and the total funds required are tremendous. Raising a few million [US dollars] in the coming months may seem insignificant in the shadow of the pending billions required, but we are taking it one step at a time. These first few bring tangible demonstration to nearly two years in planning. For us, committed funds in this phase of development are an important indicator we are moving in the right direction."
All the components needed such as the transport vehicles, space suits, life support systems and living modules on Mars are already confirmed by several industrial suppliers, who said they have the technological and logistical ability to deliver them in time for the 10-year roadmap of Mars One. Those suppliers will now receive the task to work on the Conceptual Design studies in the first half of 2013, which are sophisticated engineering bids to develop detailed technical plans for the Mars mission equipment. These will substantiate the project with real-world engineering designs and data, a very important step to convince everyone but especially sponsors and investors of the missions feasibilty.
Mars One also plans to launch their Astronaut Selection Program this year, which will be open to participants from around the world. Anyone who is interested in space travel and wants to permanently emigrate to Mars can join - the procedure will be televised as well, in an interesting twist on realty shows. Mars One said it anticipates as many as hundreds of thousands, or even one million applicants. The first "ambassadors to another planet" will actually be chosen democratically by the audience during the process. And if you just wish to invest (or rather donate) in the project, thats always possible - it is a non-profit endeavour though.