Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Journey to Red Planet – pioneering expedition or elaborate hoax?

By Liang Chen (Global Times)

08:59, May 23, 2013

Yang Shimeng, a 25-year-old space enthusiast in Tianjin, is frustrated by worries that his dream of landing on Mars may never be realized.

In April, his attention was drawn to a Dutch program called Mars One Project that aimed to send a crew to the Red Planet by 2023. Even more thrillingly, the project said it would recruit ordinary people from around the world as astronauts.

Fired by his dream of becoming an astronaut, Yang quickly logged on to its official website (, registered, filled in the application forms, and paid the $11 registration fee.

He officially became a candidate for the journey to Mars, bringing him one step closer to his lifelong dream.

"I never felt so close to my dream of exploring space," Yang told the Global Times.

However, Yang's hopes were dealt a heavy blow by a recent report by Chinese media that claimed the project might be nothing more than an elaborate hoax.

A Guangzhou Daily report accused the company of using the registration fee to raise money, as it is registered at a residential address where they rent the office with other companies.

The report said over 10,000 Chinese applicants who had paid registration fees may have been swindled.

The accusation sent shock waves throughout China, especially among space enthusiasts. Most people said they would be hurt if it did emerge that it was indeed a fraud.

"It's not about money. It's just our dream of going to Mars might have evaporated," said a netizen who goes by the name of Giosu.

Bas Lansdrop, founder of the project, rejected the accusations on Tuesday. He told the Global Times he registered the company under the address of his home, because the office's real location cannot be used for registration purposes.

He also pointed out that the project was continuing to go forward at a steady pace.

"We have placed its first aerospace supplier under contract to start work on Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and Mars Surface Exploration Spacesuit System," Bas told the Global Times, adding that there are 10 core members working on the project.

【1】 【2】 【3】

We Recommend:

Red Dress Run 2013 in Beijing

Photo story: Child models' adult world

Photo Story: Survivors of the earthquake

China’s weekly story (2013.5.3-5.11)

Photo story: race against death

Giant rubber duck deflates at HK harbor

Hainan Bodybuilding Competition

'Sea view' of Chinese cities after rainstorms

Photo Story: Levitating Beijingers

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangLili、Chen Lidan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese navy's landing ships in training

  2. Electronic warfare unit in drill

  3. Residents clean up destroyed Moore, Okla.

  4. Climber rescued on Mount Everest

  5. Modern cities' Cheongsam Style

  6. 5 killed, 1 injured in S China road cave-in

  7. History of National Art Museum of China

  8. Hobbies of Chinese masters

  9. 12 Asian business women

  10. Surplus workers in rural areas will be 'zero'

Most Popular


  1. 'Asia's future hinges on China and India'
  2. Cannes: where celebrity sells and celebrities sell
  3. Latent demand expected to take tarnish off gold
  4. Positive signs in Europe hard won
  5. Preserving culture hurts
  6. Chinese premier's India trip to evince Beijing's unwavering pursuit of better ties
  7. AP probe embodies tension between US govt, media
  8. Protectionism no painkiller for Europe
  9. Culture key to sustainable development
  10. Ten white papers, road to human rights protection

What’s happening in China

10 million-yuan bra shines in Shengyang, North China

  1. Students suffer food poisoning in NW China
  2. Heavy rainstorm affects 180,000 in S China
  3. Building construction gives way to birds in China
  4. 23 confirmed dead in Shandong plant blast
  5. Mars One not a scam, assert organizers