Mars One estimates the cost of bringing the first four people to Mars at US$ 6 billion. This is the cost of all the hardware combined, plus the operational expenditures, plus margins. For every next manned mission including hardware and operations, Mars One estimates the costs at US$ 4 billion.
As the missions progress through development phases A to D (als see Current Mission Status), improved cost estimates will become available. The updated numbers could show higher development or construction cost than the current estimates. The cost could also increase if more components than accounted for fail and need to be replaced. There are also opportunities to lower the mission cost, for example if larger, more economical launchers become available. Mars One's business case projection supports at least double the budget. Read more about Mars One’s business model.
US$ 450 million for the first unmanned Mars lander mission
US$ 425 million for the communications satellite
US$ 900 million for the first rover mission
US$ 2,300 million for all remaining outpost hardware and supplies before the human mission US$ 1,250 million for sending the first crew to Mars
US$ 582 million for operations, including astronaut selection and training
US$ 93 million for ground stations and other costs
US$ 1,850 million per year for follow-up human missions
This 6 billion US$ estimate is much lower than quotes provided by governmental studies. There are several reasons for this, most importantly because main part of traditional cost estimates is allocated to the return mission from Mars back to Earth. Since the Mars One crew will stay on Mars, mission complexity and the weight of the hardware that needs to be sent to Mars are a lot lower compared to return Mars missions. Mars One’s CTO Arno Wielders further explains this here: What are Mars One’s mission costs?
At the moment, Mars One’s funding is being used to award new contracts to established aerospace companies for conceptual design studies, to organize round three of the Astronaut Selection Program, and to build a core team of experienced professionals to work on the first unmanned Mars mission and the astronaut selection process. For more information, also read Current mission status.