It is Mars One's goal to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.
Human settlement on Mars is the next giant leap for humankind. This exploration of the solar system will bring the human race closer together. Mars is the next step of the voyage into the universe. Furthermore, human settlement on Mars will aid the understanding of the origins of the solar system, the origins of life, and human’s place in the universe. As with the Apollo Moon landings, a human mission to Mars will inspire generations to believe that all things are possible and that anything can be achieved with perseverance.
Mars One believes that human settlement on Mars will be the most profound and influential event of the 21st century. In 100 years, children will learn about this time and they will know the date of the first human landing on Mars. It will be common knowledge that this was the first established colony beyond Earth.
Permanent settlement significantly reduces the cost, the required technology development, and the risk of the mission compared to the traditional return journey. It is also a more profound step in the continuous journey of the exploration by the human race. Mankind has explored and settled on all the continents of our Earth in the last 50,000 years, and Mars is the next logical place to start a settlement.
The Mars One's mission will be financed by investments from the private sector. In order to accept investments, the Mars One Foundation has established Mars One Media which is a for profit entity in which investors can buy shares. Mars One Media holds the exclusive media and intellectual property rights to the Mars One's mission and will monetize it to enable the mission and to provide shareholders a return on their investment.
Mars One is not an aerospace company. Therefore, the required systems are to be designed and built by established aerospace companies with relevant experience. Launch services and integration of the different systems will also be outsourced to experienced parties. Mars One will focus mainly on the funding, management of the mission, and finding the right teams to go to Mars.
The plan that Mars One has established and the progress that has been made is only part of the overall plan. Mars One would not be able to complete this mission without the support and enthusiasm from the global community. This step in history is one that everyone will remember and should be part of, thus the aim is to keep the world informed on what Mars One is doing.
Mars One is a young and growing organization. This team is supported by an impressive board of ambassadors and advisers from all over the world; including an astronaut, Nobel Prize laureate, and the former NASA Chief Technologist. Mars One receives donations from people in over 100 countries and over 200,000 registered for the astronaut selection procedure. Diverse brands are showing interest in associating their corporate stories with Mars One's human mission to Mars.
Mars One's mission design is currently in the early mission concept phase. So far, the main requirements for the mission have been identified and discussed with established aerospace companies. Possible solutions were identified and rough cost figures were discussed.
In the first phase, Mars One will finance conceptual design studies to be performed by established aerospace companies for every major system required for the permanent settlement mission. The reports of the studies will be published to attract feedback and suggestions for improvement. In 2014, Lockheed Martin prepared a report for the first unmanned Mars Lander that included information for prospective suppliers of Mars One about payload capabilities. In 2015, Mars One released the initial conceptual design of the Surface Habitat Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) performed by Paragon Space Development Corporation. This is one of the key systems required to support a human settlement on Mars.
The Mars One mission design will be updated according to the results of the conceptual design studies. The design in the road map is an estimate of what the first and second manned mission might look like.