Amersfoort, 4th December 2012 – Mars One is pleased to announce the conversion of its corporation to a Dutch "stichting", a not-for-profit foundation whose primary goal is to take humanity to Mars. The first four astronauts are planned to land on Mars in 2023, with four additional crew members arriving every two years thereafter.
Since the launch of its website in June 2012, Mars One has enjoyed a profound, international following. With more than 850,000 unique visitors to the website, Mars One has received thousands of emails. Among those emails were more than one thousand requests from individuals that want to go to Mars--well before the launch of the Astronaut Selection Program. Furthermore, Mars One is supported by a large group of advisers and ambassadors, among whom are an astronaut, a Nobel prize winning physicist and several NASA scientists.
Mars One recognized the potential to embrace this show of global support by conversion to a not-for-profit foundation. Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and President of Mars-One offers, "A foundation more accurately represents how the Mars One team feels about this mission, and how the world has embraced our plan, even in this early stage. We receive so many kind and supportive emails, people offer us donations or offer to help us in whatever way they can. The conversion to a foundation represents that going to Mars is something we do as a united world."
In the first half of 2013 Mars One will launch the astronaut selection program, a search to find the best candidates for the 'next giant leap for mankind'. The search will be global, open to every person from every nation. As a Foundation, Mars One will be the owner of the human outpost on Mars, the simulation bases on Earth, and the employer of the astronauts, both in training here on Earth, and those on Mars.
Arno Wielders, co-founder and technical director of Mars One: "Sending humans to Mars has been my dream for twenty years. Evidently, I am not alone--we have received emails from over fifty countries. People in thirty seven countries have purchased our merchandise, demonstrating their support for Mars One. Regardless of their background, people are positive about this optimistic event that we believe will bring people of Earth a little bit closer together."
Mars One is already sponsored by companies from all over the world. Now, Mars One is also accepting individual donations to enable people to contribute to the next giant leap for mankind. Donations are applied toward daily operations at Mars One, the Conceptual Design Studies, and preparation for the Astronaut Selection Program.
Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish permanent human life on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One’s mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations. It is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars.