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Mars One goes public through Swiss payment provider buyout

Mars One, the company that promised to take humans to Mars on a trip funded by a reality TV show focused on the journey, has been purchased by Swiss mobile payment developer, Innovative Finance AG. However, it’s one of those counter takeovers, which will see Mars One paid in 97.5 per cent of Innovative’s shares, leading to it renaming itself Mars One Ventures AG.

The whole purpose of this is to more easily and swiftly list Mars One on the Frankfurt stock exchange, which in turn should allow Mars One to generate much more capital to fund its ambitious plans. Initially it claimed to be sending unmanned probes to Mars in 2016, with a manned colony expected by the mid-20s. While those estimations have been revised, it’s still confident of achieving its goal of getting the first human feet to Mars.

Although there has been some derision of Mars One’s plans in the past, with commenters suggesting them far too ambitious, or fanciful, the venture does have some scientific founding for its aims. Its advisory board is made up of important figures in space travel, including a former astronaut and NASA chief technologist. It also has expanded funding plans for merchandising, video content, broadcasting rights and brand partnerships surrounding the planned Mars mission.

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Moving forward, the commercial branch of Mars One will look to generate as much capital as possible to fund the mission, with five per cent of its revenue being funnelled into a non-profit foundation, which will handle much of the logistics of the proposed trip to Mars.

Mars One is also still selecting its potential candidates to be the firs to the red planet. In 2013 it put out a global call for participants, stating clear that they would never come home. It now claims to have whittled that list down to just 100 and is continuing to select the most promising candidates.

KitGuru Says: While I have more faith in plans like those set out by Elon Musk than I do Mars One, competitiveness should help put a fire up the backside of any team involved and may well get us to Mars that little bit faster.

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