WASHINGTON – The company that was to finance Mars One has been liquidated, causing a serious quarrel to the quixotic goals of the one-way human missions on Mars.
Mars One Ventures AG, the commercial arm of Mars in general One effort, was liquidated in a case of January 15 in a civil court in the Swiss canton of Basel-City, according to a deposit of 16 January from the commercial register of the canton . The deposit was first publicized on February 10th on Reddit.
The deposit offered little information on the bankruptcy case or how the company was liquidated. Bas Lansdorp, founder of Mars One, confirmed that the company was bankrupt, but provided some additional details.
"We are working with the administrator and an investor to find a solution," he said in an email dated 1
Mars One has an unusual structure that involves two organizations. One is the Mars One Foundation, a nonprofit organization responsible for the implementation of its goal of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars. The other was Mars One Ventures AG, which held exclusive rights to monetize the project through things like sales of sponsorships and broadcasting rights, providing part of these revenues to the Mars One Foundation.
Lansdorp pointed out that the bankruptcy statement only affected the for-profit company, Mars One Ventures. However, with the collapse of this company, the funding of the non-profit foundation is uncertain.
Mars One provided little financial updates since it announced in December 2016 that Mars One Ventures had become public after it was acquired by InFin Innovative Finance AG. , a Swiss company that previously worked on mobile payment technologies that had already been traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The latest update of the Mars One Ventures shareholders was published in June 2018, according to the "Investor Relations" section of its website. At the time the stock trading had been suspended on the Frankfurt stock exchange, with the hope of resuming it in August.
Mars One gained titles several years ago with plans to privately fund human missions to Mars, with those selected to fly on those missions engaged in a one-way trip with no prospect of returning to Earth. In his 2012 announcement of his plans, Mars One said he would land on Mars in 2023, a date that he later delayed not earlier than 2032.
Mars One claimed that he could complete the initial mission, through the 39. landing of the first four-person crew on Mars, for $ 6 billion, a figure that the organization offered few details and one widely criticized in the wider, far too low space industry. Mars One planned to raise funds for the mission by selling the broadcast rights, citing the large revenue generated for the rights of events such as the Olympics and the World Cup.
There was a remarkable response from people interested in flying on such missions, even if Mars One exaggerated those numbers. In September 2013 he claimed that more than 200,000 people had applied for the first astronaut selection round. This figure, however, only applied to those who initiated the process and did not include those who actually completed the application forms and paid the registration fee. No more than a few thousand completed their applications, from which Mars One selected 1,058 at the end of 2013 for further consideration.
In February 2015, Mars One restricted the number of finalists for his first 100-astronaut, who were to participate in further screenings, including training in a simulated Mars outpost. However, this training was delayed and Mars One did not provide recent updates on how the astronaut selection process will continue.
Plans for the precursor robotic missions have also been delayed. Mars One awarded study contracts in 2013 to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to develop an orbiter to act as communication relays, and Lockheed Martin to a Mars lander based on the NASA Phoenix mission project. However, the work on these projects was interrupted at the beginning of 2015 after the companies had completed their initial studies and received no funding for further work.
Mars One announced in December 2016 that those missions, initially scheduled for launch in 2018, had been delayed to 2022 for the lander and 2024 for the orbiter, but since then has not provided any further updates on their development .
Asked about February 11 if he could provide news about the astronaut selection process or other activities of the Mars One Foundation, Lansdorp replied: "At the moment there is no news from the foundation."