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Mars One delayed Mars Mission; Will it ever push through?

First Posted: Dec 08, 2016 09:38 AM EST
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Mars lander animations released showing expected arrival trajectory

As of today's report, Mars one announced a five-year-old delay in its projected timeline for starting a human colony in Mars, further claiming that it will now send first crews to the planet in 2031. The previous target year was 2026.

The Dutch-based venture which promises people a chance to live on the Red Planet, says its roadmap has to be adjusted slightly in order to give the mission more time to raise more money, as well as push the "large expenses associated with the mission hardware back in time," according to CEO Bas Lansdorp.

The Project was slower to get off the ground than Mars One mission anticipated, Lansdorp said. "Of course the whole Mars One team would have preferred to be able to stick to the original schedule, but this new timeline significantly improves our odds of successfully achieving this mission roadmap" a statement from Lansdorp revealed.

Mars One has been constantly shifting its timeline since it was first announced in 2012. In 2014, two MIT students released a report analyzing the plans for Mars One colony, coming to a conclusion saying it will take a significant amount of financial support and technological innovations to go with for the mission to be successful.

The first timeline for Mars One mission was genuinely ambitious in every sense. It called for sending a communications satellite into Mars orbit sometime this year and then Martian rover in 2018, which would help select the site for the colony. The rest of the hardware needed for the settlement would then be shipped over a couple years later, and the first crew of four would take off in 2022 for a 2023 arrival.

Now, the communications satellite isn't supposed to launch until 2024 and the first rover will head to the planet in 2026. The rest of the hardware will then go to Mars three years later in 2029, followed by the first crew launch in 2031.

Aside Mission dates, Mars One has yet to offer some critical information about its plan most notable about how it'd go to Mars. It anticipates using SpaceX's Falcon Heavy (which hasn't flown yet), but there are few details about the spacecraft that will take people to the planet.

There's the matter of funding also: it's difficult to estimate what a Mars mission will cost, but experts have speculated anywhere from hundreds of billion of dollars to even more than $1 trillion will be needed.

Mars One was recently acquired by Switzerland-based company InFin Innovative Finance AG, allowing the organization to be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The move allows Mars One to raise capital directly from the exchange rather than from private investors.

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