Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I realize we're entering dead horse territory here -- UPDATED

... and, as promised in the last post, we are approaching the end of this thread, but I recently came across this article from 2013 and since I haven't said much about those 200,000 applicants...

Private Mars Colony Project Undaunted by Application ShortfallRob Coppinger, SPACE.com Contributor   |   August 28, 2013 07:00am ET

Mars One opened its application process for potential colonists on April 22 of this year and set a deadline of  Aug. 31. Applicants have to pay a fee, which ranges from $5 to $75 depending on which country they live in. The fee for United States citizens is $38.

On April 10, Lansdorp told SPACE.com that Mars One expected to get 1 million applications. By mid-April, the foundation had 45,000 people registered for its mailing list and had received 10,000 emails from individuals. By early May, two weeks after applications opened, Mars One was claiming 78,000 applicants.

At the time, Lansdorp said in a statement: "These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants," lowering the applications bar he had set a few weeks earlier.

By Aug. 22, Mars One had received about 165,000 applications, meaning the foundation could have a total of around 200,000 in hand by the Aug. 31 deadline. Lansdorp told SPACE.com on Aug. 23 that potential applicants should not be concerned about any perceived lack of qualifications: "We have the feeling that people feel that, 'If I’m not a pilot or I don’t have astronaut training already, how can I ever be qualified to go to Mars?' And actually, the opposite is true."

The average application fee is about $25, Lansdorp said, so 200,000 submissions would bring in about $5 million. That would leave Mars One $20 million short of what it would have gotten from 1 million applications (and $7.5 million shy of the $12.5 million that 500,000 applications would have brought in).

However, Lansdorp also told SPACE.com last week that the 165,000 included those that had not paid. He declined to say how much revenue applications had generated.

Now cut to 2014 courtesy of Elmo Keep.
Then there’s the company’s claim that 200,000 people applied for a one-way ticket. This incredible piece of information issued by Mars One’s press office was picked up with credulous haste by news outlets around the world. Even religious leaders made their opinions known, with the UAE-based General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment strictly forbidding Muslims from applying, as to leave the sanctity of Earth was an affront to Allah.

But Norbert Kraft, the chief medical officer, has told The Guardian he was sorting through 80,000 applicants, not 200,000. NBC News tallied the number of video applicants on the Mars One website and came to 2,782, each of whom paid an application fee of between $5 and $75. I ask Lansdorp if in the course of fact-checking this story he will allow me to see the list to verify the number. I ask where the 200,000 people registered their interest and if it was ever made public. His answer was…complicated.

“I don’t know if that was ever made public, but they have registered on our website for applying for our program,” he says. “Then there was a number of steps where people had the opportunity to drop out as that was exactly the point. The application process was kind of a self-selection that avoided us having to review all of them. The first step was paying the application fee. A number of people already dropped out there. Then there was a video that you had to make and questions that you had to answer. And that’s also where a lot of people dropped out, that they’re not lying in their motivation.”

I ask again if sharing the list would be possible to verify the figure.

“Of course we cannot share the details of the applicants with you because that’s confidential, private information that we cannot share.”

I offer that the names can be redacted in maintaining the privacy of the applicants before viewing the list.

“Ah, no. I’m not interested in sharing that information with you.”

He emails later, with an invitation to come at my own expense to Mars One’s office in the Netherlands and see the list in person, though cameras will not be allowed. “I will need to read your article before publication and reserve the right to deny you access to the list if I don’t like what you wrote.”

I tell him that of course that won’t be possible.
P.S. And the revision continues. Emphasis added.

From a Pakistani news site:
When Mars One, Dutch non-profit foundation, launched a program to establish permanent human settlement on the red planet, they never thought that they would be swamped with a flood of applications. Shockingly, 202,586 people signed up for this crazy, one-way trip to Mars, of which 100 made it to Mars One’s highly coveted shortlist.

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