Amersfoort, 15th January 2014 - For the first time in the history of humankind, economical participation in space exploration is a reality. With Mars One’s recent launch of a crowdfunding campaign, it’s now possible to send a personal item to distances far beyond your wildest dreams. For many, the Mars One mission is the gateway to a new era in man’s historic reach for the stars.
For about 50 years, government organizations have been funding and managing space exploration across the globe. Government run exploration, funded by public monies, has provided limited access to most citizens of those countries. In the last few years, private organizations such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Eric Anderson’s Space Adventures have made space exploration possible for the mega-rich. A flight with Virgin Galactic 68 miles above Earth goes for a cool $250,000 while the potential 2017 flight to the moon from Space Adventures is rumored to cost an astronomical $150 million. There are others in between, but none as accessible as Mars One. Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars One, has set his sights on involving the everyday man and woman in space exploration.
In April 2013, Mars One opened the doors to the masses by providing an open application process for the potential crew that will fly to Mars in 2025 to establish the human settlement. The response was overwhelming, with more than 200,000 people world-wide applying. Lansdorp is not shy about future promises to continue the trend. “From the beginning, this has always been humankind’s mission to Mars!”
The Mars One Foundation took another step toward this goal on December 10th, when they launched a crowdfunding campaign. The campaign, hosted by non-profit crowdfunding leader Indiegogo, is aimed at bringing Mars One and their goal of human settlement on Mars to the masses. Crowdfunding campaigns provide any person a chance to contribute financially to an organization’s fundraising efforts in exchange for what are called perks, or gifts created by the campaign owner. The perks included by Mars One provide what Lansdorp calls, “the first steps to affordable and accessible space exploration.”
The 'crowd' is invited to participate in Mars One first unmanned mission that will be launched in 2018. On the 10th of December 2013, Mars One announced that Lockheed Martin and SSTL were selected to perform the mission concept studies for the two spacecraft that will fly to Mars in 2018.
As an example, for just $25, you can send your electronic picture to Mars. In 2019, the Mars One communications satellite will pull up an image of your picture while in orbit and snap a shot of it with Mars in the background. Another popular perk provides any person the ability to create a personal message to be printed directly on the parachute which will be used to land the first Mars One spacecraft in 2019. “The Parachute Message to Mars is one of my personal favorites,” says Lansdorp. “Sending your physical message to Mars, all for just $95, seems outrageous. Think about it. Many times, that’s less than sending a package from Europe to the United States via FedEx or UPS!” These perks, plus others, will be offered until January 25th, when the campaign comes to a close.
About Mars One
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.
Mars One's Indiegogo Crowdfunding campaign can be found at: www.indiegogo.com/projects/mars-one-first-private-mars-mission-in-2018
Mars One team members and Ed Sedivy of Lockheed Martin comment on the 2018 Lander in this movie: http://youtu.be/icN29cdmw_s