Mars is the next step in the journey to explore the universe. While NASA has already sent probes to the Red Planet to investigate various factors, the next big step is sending a human being there. However, such a process would not only be expensive, but it's also a one-way trip that would take over 9 months, and the resources there wouldn't be usable to construct a way to travel home.
That fact lead over 100,000 people across the world to apply for the Dutch non-profit Mars One's supposed attempt to send six men and women to Mars. Mars One recently shrunk its candidacy base down to about one hundred subjects. But recent reports revealed something crazy, which is that Mars One doesn't plan on sending anyone to Mars.
Australian reporter Elmo Keep recently got the chance to interview Dr. Joseph Roche on Medium about being on the short list of candidates. Roche is a assistant professor at Trinity College's School of Education in Dublin who has a Ph.D. in physics and astrophysics. According to Roche, the voting process seemed to have a number of financial and cultural problems. For example, a significant number of the candidates reportedly paid their way onto the short list, while others promised to donate all of their speaking fees to Mars One.
Roche says that the rating system for becoming one of the six astronauts that are destined to fly to Mars is point-based.
"[Candidates] get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them," he told Keep. If the system is followed to its logical end, then the people who make it the furthest are the ones who paid the most and are the most active in promoting Mars One's mission.
Roche was also supposed to meet regional representatives from Mars One in person to discuss the requirements. However, Mars One told Roche that he had to sign a nondisclosure agreement before he could talk to anyone. And when he did sign the form, the in-person meeting turned into a Skype call. Roche says that despite being on the short list, he has not met a single member of Mars One.
Roche goes on to describe the terrible training standards, sub-par application process, and how the non-profit has no money and no aerospace contracts.
Others have expressed concern about Mars One, its financial status and the application in the past, but a significant portion of the media has ignored the claims.
Mars One has not released comment responding to Roche's interview.