More than 10,000 Chinese people have applied to join a Dutch aerospace project Mars One that plans to send humans to Mars for permanent settlement, accounting for 1/8 of total applicants around the world. However, the person in charge of the project admitted in an interview last week that they were beating a retreat from the plan since the complexity of the project goes far beyond their imagination, and the trip is unlikely to realize in 2023.
Recently some reporters went to the Netherlands and found the headquarters of the project was based in a rented office, which disappointed a lot of applicants. At present, the Chinese applicants have contributed over 100,000 U.S. dollars to the project for application, but their refund request was denied when they wanted to withdraw from the project.
Some reporters found the company Mars One was registered on June 23, 2011, with only one employee, and the registered address is a residence in Amersfoort, which is under the name of Bas Lansdorp, who is reportedly the co-founder of Mars One. When the reporters went to the office of the company, they did not see any sign or logo of Mars One. Lansdorp and his colleagues only occupied a few tables in a large open office area. Therefore, media assumed that Mars One project is probably a commercial scam.
A Chinese scholar said yesterday that the Mars program is very tricky, and he was not surprised the plan cannot be realized, because the project is a blatant commercial hype.
Deputy director of the International Institute of Air and Space Law at Leiden University Mrs. Drs. T.L. Masson-Zwaan also said that because the plan won't bring volunteers back to the earth, it has caused ethical issues. She said from a humanitarian point of view, this is contrary to the basic ethical standards, and they should at least make sure this is a two-way trip.
Although the plan does sound tricky, two weeks since the global launch of application for Mars One program, more than 80,000 applicants from more than 100 countries around the world, including 10,000 Chinese, have applied to join. At present, the registration fee of the 80,000 applicants amounts to more than 1 million U.S. dollars, among which the Chinese applicants paid more than 100,000 U.S. dollars.
Tens of thousands of registered Chinese applicants have built hundreds of online chat groups and online forums to exchange on Mars topics every day. In some online chat groups the reporter joined, many applicants expressed disappointment about the news that the Mars One is difficult to be realized. Some people tried to get back the 11 U.S. dollars registration fee but failed.
Edited and translated by Huang Beibei, People's Daily Online
Read the Chinese version:百万美元报名费不退中国过万报名者被骗
Source: Guangzhou Daily