The time schedule, as it is presented in the road map, and the exact dates and years of the missions to Mars, were selected based on astronomical positions of Mars and the Earth. We have discussed the time schedule with our potential suppliers. They have all confirmed to us that they can build the required components within the agreed period.
A potential challenge for Mars One will be to secure enough funding to pay our suppliers on time for their hardware development work. However, at this moment, Mars One needs only a small fraction of the total six billion US$. Our initial round of funding will be used to pay our candidate suppliers to perform conceptual design studies. The results of the studies will give the sponsors and investors more confidence in the technical feasibility of sending humans to Mars.
With the added confidence, we expect to be able to convince them to invest in the next technical step. With each technical step, we will also hugely increase our visibility in the media, resulting in greater interest and revenue for Mars One, and increased value for our sponsors. By way of this staged approach to technical progress and funding, we expect to be able to deliver to the proposed schedule.
The launcher that we plan to use will have an extensive track record, and be thoroughly tried and tested by the time of our first launch. Mars components will also be tested thoroughly on Earth. However, the possibility of failure of a launch or a surface component can never be fully excluded. This could lead to a delay of up to two years.