Not-for-profit organization Mars One in the Netherlands is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a one-way trip to Mars.
Human space flight is expensive. It’s a fact that Americans and many others throughout the world have heard over and over. During trying economic times in the U.S., NASA’s budget often comes under scrutiny and, lately, human space exploration has taken an economic hit—yet, commercial innovators have taken the reigns and partnered with NASA and others to make future human space exploration a reality.
Nonetheless, if debates over space-related budgets have taught us anything, it is that space exploration is expensive—and yet, Mars One takes this already costly proposition even a step farther, in support of the goal of the first human settlement on Mars.
A for-profit company Interplanetary Media Group (IMG) is said to be funding a lion’s share of the costs. (The Mars One not-for-profit foundation is reportedly IMG’s controlling stockholder.)
IMG has reserved exclusive rights to revenue generated from the broadcast of selection, training, launch, and eventual colonization efforts on Mars, the Earth’s closest planetary neighbor. That’s right—the Mars One expedition is being financed by IMG in the hope of making the first trip to Mars a reality show.
This mil/aero geek is excited at the prospect of a Martian colony and grateful that not-for-profit and for-profit companies alike are investing time, energy, and money into continuing human space travel and exploration. Perhaps gone are the days of pristine, white spacecraft in favor of space modules plastered with corporate sponsorship logos akin to racecars on the Martian landscape.