Irish scientist shortlisted for Mars One mission critical of project

The Irish scientist shortlisted for the Mars One mission which plans to have humans living on the red planet within a decade, has hit out at inadequacies surrounding the €5 billion project.

Mars, the mysterious planet.

Mars  One Mission preparation process criticised by Irish scientist. Image by NASA / CC BY 2.0

Dr Joseph Roche, an Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin, said he felt the selection process which has put him into the final 100 candidates for the trip, had not been very meticulous.

RTE radio reports that Dr Roche has also highlighted the organisers “reluctance to embrace the scientific community” as a reason he had come to doubt the mission.

The scientist elaborated in an online magazine interview with ’Medium’ why he had come to doubt the selection process.  Dr Roche said he was particularly disappointed that there had been no face-to-face meeting with those selected other than a 10-minute Skype interview with one person at the other end.

Explaining that the only other information on him was from a video he had made and his application form which was mostly “one-word answers,” he believed this was not the way to make “a proper judgment on anything.”

Various numbers from 3,000 to 200,000 people are said to have applied to take part in the privately funded one-way mission that aims to create a permanent human settlement on the red planet.

The vision is to have four-man crews departing every two years once the project gets up and running within a decade.

The mission is being supported by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, but will be financed through the creation of a reality TV show around the project as well as private crowd-funding.

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