Mars One says new investor could save it from bankruptcy

An artist's visualization of the Mars One base on the Red Planet.                  Mars One

The company behind a Dutch initiative to set up a colony on Mars, and which was said by some to be a scam, has gone bust. The news of Mars One Ventures going bankrupt was into the fore when a Redditor spotted a notice for bankruptcy on a website for the city of Basel. Among the many scandalous details, that report claimed that just 2,761 people had applied to Mars One-a far cry from the claimed number in the tens and eventually hundreds of thousands.

Mars One Ventures posted an update on its site saying that the commercial arm is "currently working on a solution with an investor".

'Mars One has a very innovative business model combining branding and media rights with the increasingly popular topic of space exploration, ' chief executive Oscar Christian said at the time. The organization promised wannabe space travelers that it would send them to the Red Planet to start the first human settlement, however, that it would not return them to Earth as it came up short on the technology to get them off the planet.

The company says the bankruptcy court proceedings center on its Mars One Ventures. By 2013, the company claimed that almost 80,000 people had done so.

Then again, Mars One says a lot of things. Matter likewise discovered that Mars One's process for choosing these candidates was questionable.

Mars One made documentary videos about their red planet volunteers, which were sold on to broadcasters and buyers, and had planned to bring the intrepid colonizers to "a desert location to test their team skills" before setting off for Mars in 2026.

The mission of colonizing Mars, appeared in 2011. Along the way, Mars One also fended off accusations that it was running a scam, getting people to pay almost $40 for a remote chance to travel in space.

In 2018 the company signed a deal with Swiss investment company Phoenix which said it would invest up to €12m in the project.

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