'Mars One' finalist breaks silence, claims organization is a total scam

By Shawn Knight
Mar 16, 2015
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  1. mars scam mars one

    Mars One, the non-profit organization that has been recruiting hopefuls wishing to be among the first humans to ever step foot on the red planet, is pretty much a giant scam according to one finalist.

    Dr. Joseph Roche, an assistant professor at Trinity College’s School of Education who holds doctorate degrees in both physics and astrophysics, filled out an application several years ago mostly out of curiosity. Over time, he found himself among the list of 100 finalists for the project.

    The organization claims it fielded applications from some 200,000 interested individuals but according to Roche, the real number was just 2,761. But aside from that misrepresentation, Roche told Medium that what worried him the most as someone close to the program was the fact that some had paid their way onto the list.

    mars scam mars one

    Furthermore, Roche claims the organization is asking finalists to donate any money they make from guest appearances to the cause. For a project that’ll require billions of dollars in funding, requesting what amounts to a drop in the bucket from participants seems a bit suspect.

    Remember that mini-documentary that The Guardian put together last month? Those “finalists” featured in the piece are simply the people that had generated the most money for the Mars One organization.

    Something else that has raised suspicion in Roche’s eyes is the fact that he’s a top 100 finalist yet he hasn’t met anyone from the organization in public. What was supposed to be a regional interview process was ultimately dwindled down to a 10-minute Skype call. During this call, Roche said he was quizzed on facts about the red plant and the mission he’d be on. At no time was he given a psychological or psychometric test – something that’d be very important for astronauts on a lengthy, one-way mission.

    Mars One planned to fund the expensive (~$6 billion) venture by producing a television reality show with production company Endemol. That contract has reportedly been canned and even one of the organization’s leading supports recently said he believes it’d be another hundred years before humanity is ready to tackle such a mission.

    mars scam mars one

    Because of Mars One’s eventual failure, Roche fears that people will lose faith in trustworthy agencies like NASA and perhaps even scientists in general. The last thing he wants to do is be part of something that could do damage to the public perception of science.

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Canceling a suicide mission, will not tarnish my perception of science (or NASA)!
    Falyreas, Smellmybert, mosu and 2 others like this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,161

    "Roche fears that people will lose faith in trustworthy agencies like NASA and perhaps even scientists in general."

    BS organizations aren't going to damage trust in scientists. Scientists do a well enough job of that on their own (see any of the recent scandals involving falsified and/or non-replicable data).
    Route44, cmbjive and p51d007 like this.
  4. If I paid to be on the list I can make it back with all that publicity.
  5. I live in a small town in the Netherlands, and I've recently noticed their office, 3 people on 20m2, definitely a hoax
    p51d007 likes this.
  6. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,136   +480

    Wait, am I supposed to be surprised?
    Falyreas and p51d007 like this.
  7. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 990   +90

    Wasn't that the plot from a canceled sci-fi tv series?
    Route44 and p51d007 like this.
  8. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,078   +330


    Well said!
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,494   +668

    There goes my plans for building the first Mars Driving Range ..... what will I do with all these bright yellow golf balls?????
    learninmypc and dms96960 like this.
  10. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,550   +594

    Sounds like sour grapes to me from a guy who didn't make the cut.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,800   +483

    Even so, it's still something that just isn't possible anytime soon. Like cliffordcooley said it's suicidal.
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,550   +594

    Well yeah, I suppose going on a one way mission to Mars could be construed as being suicidal in a way. But it's not going to happen "soon." The goal is by 2024 - 9 years from now. And the technology is available now to do this - it's the money stopping any space agency from going forward with it.

    I'm not defending the Mars One group. It's just listening to this guy, he sounds like someone who's pissed he didn't make the final cut and now he's going to bash the program.
  13. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Booster Posts: 153   +59

    No one will lose trust in NASA, just Mars One and anything like it.
  14. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 814   +382

    That's exactly what that is!

    Also: "The last thing he wants to do is be part of something that could do damage to the public perception of science."

    ...and so he make sure to go out of his way to do so. lol
  15. TheDreams

    TheDreams TS Addict Posts: 599   +57

    Jokes on all of us, they launch tomorrow.
  16. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    I think it's more a case of a guy who was very naive. For someone with a few degrees, this is crazy. When someone says they have a plan to go to Mars, the reaction shouldn't be 'sign me up' and then get suspicious when you run into inconsistencies in the money and psych eval. You should be suspicious the second they say 'trip to Mars' It sounds like this guy thought the trip was actually possible.
    Falyreas likes this.
  17. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,494   +668

    The real damage is probably going to be toward the legitimate private companies that are in or getting into the business of space. On the good side, they are proving that much of the same things can be done noticeably cheaper. Of course I'm reminded of a quote from (I think) Neil Armstrong that once said "we're sitting on top of this rocket with hundreds of thousands of highly explosive in a tiny sealed capsule, all built by the lowest bidder". I'd laugh out loud if it wasn't so true!
  18. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 853   +352

    Wow, make it like a real life version of "the landing on the moon" that still to this day, I lot of people didn't think happened.
  19. If anyone actually thought this was anything but a scam, they need to stop taking their medications. This ridiculous trip will never occur. People will make money in the mean time, but eventually there will be some pathetic "we just couldn't fund it", or "the technology just isn't there" type of excuse and this whole scam will fade away.
    Falyreas likes this.
  20. Humpty Dumptee

    Humpty Dumptee TS Rookie

    I'm sure people thought the first mission to the moon was a suicide mission too.
    learninmypc likes this.
  21. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,161

    There is a difference between speculation and fact. Fact is, (1) you can launch a manned vehicle off of the Moon. Also a fact, (2) you cannot in the foreseeable future launch a manned vehicle off of Mars. Lunar landings may have been seen as potentially suicidal, but that was entirely speculation. Martian landings are in fact (see (2) above) suicidal.
    Falyreas likes this.
  22. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +137

    The difference between going to the moon and going to Mars is about the same as a difference between McDonald's and Ruth Chris Steakhouse.
  23. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,161

    I reject your analogy. The Moon doesn't lose money hand over fist and I've never been to Ruth Chris.
    cmbjive likes this.
  24. According to the article, he did make the cut. It states he was one of the 100 chosen. I'm not sure why you keep saying he is a disgruntled non-finalist.
    Falyreas likes this.
  25. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +137

    Too funny. That being said, I've never been to Ruth Chris because I need to make my paycheck stretch.
    davislane1 likes this.

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