Crowdfunding on Indiegogo Mars One, which hopes to be the first private mission to Mars, is set to close at the end of the day short of hitting their $400,000 goal. The campaign is a flexible funding project so all funds will be received by the organizers regardless of the amount contributed. While not quite hitting their target the campaign has received a very respectable amount of contributions. Over 7,600 backers have committed over $293,000.00. Considering the extensive time frame of project completion the broad support is probably more indicative of the interest surrounding the ambitious project and the professional presentation by organizers.
In a backer update, Bas Landsdorp, co-founder and CEO of the company, acknowledge the profound support;
As you know, our campaign is coming to a close. So far, we have raised an impressive 290,000 dollars. As a community, we’ve actually raised more money during this two-month campaign than we raised from private donations over the past two years. An incredible feat. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Exciting days are ahead. I am on my way to Lockheed Martin in Denver as I write this to attend a progress meeting for the mission concept study they are currently performing for our 2018 Lander Mission. We’re expecting the results of the study in May of this year and we will share the public summary of the report with everyone who contributed for the Mission Backstage Pass.
My meeting on Monday at Lockheed Martin will be on the work breakdown structure and on landing site selection. The work that Lockheed Martin is doing is the first step in a project that will result in the landing of the first privately funded mission on the surface of Mars in 2019. We are getting closer every day! And you will have helped make that possible. I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your contributions and look forward to the exciting days and years ahead!
Mars One has targeted 2025 as the year they will establish a human colony on the red planet. Part of the project includes astronaut selection. Initial applicants numbered 1058. This number is expected to be reduced to between 24 to 40 individuals who will begin full time training for the one-way trip to Mars. The first step of the project is to send a Mars Lander and Satellite mission in 2018.
The project was conceptualized back in 2002 when co-founders Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders met at a meeting of the Dutch Mars Society. The Mars One organization was officially launched in 2011.
Mars One plans to send four astronaut crews, every two years, in 2024.
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