Feeds

China’s state-run rags brand Mars One mission a scam

Beijing doesn't like the idea of its citizens visiting RED planet

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Chinese state-run media has branded the Mars One mission designed to land successful applicants on the Red Planet in 2023 a “hoax” and probable “scam”, in what appears to be a co-ordinated attempt to undermine the non-profit behind the project.

In a “news” article titled Settlement on Mars a hoax? Over 10,000 Chinese people fall for it, Communist Party mouthpiece The People’s Daily claims without direct quotation that project CEO Bas Lansdorp has already admitted the 2023 date is unlikey.

“[He] 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,” it said.

The report goes on to claim that Mars One’s registered office in Amersfoort shows no signs of company logo, and is in fact a mere rented space in a shared office facility.

“Therefore, media assumed that Mars One project is probably a commercial scam,” the red rag continues.

State-run news wire Xinhua uses a slightly different tack, reporting Lansdorp’s response that his plan is indeed “ambitious” and “serious”, while highlighting apparently contradictory information in a new company statement which El Reg has so far been unable to track down beyond the Chinese media.

The idea is to raise enough money, around $6bn, from TV rights, merchandise sales, donations and applicant registration fees ($38 for Americans) to first build a Mars rover to scout out suitable locations and then send up a manned vessel by 2023 using a craft built by Elon Musk's SpaceX company.

The end goal is to turn the whole project into a “global media event” culminating in the what sounds like a Martian version of Big Brother.

Science experts have certainly voiced their doubts about the ability of the project to establish a permanent, self-sustaining habitat on the Red Planet.

However, the attacks from Chinese media seem to betray a different motive.

Over 10,000 Chinese citizens have applied to become astronauts – the second highest number behind Americans - and the government would seem to be not at all happy.

The Xi Jinping regime has defined itself by pledging to help the nation and its people realise the “Chinese dream”, it doesn’t look at all good if tens of thousands want to leave the Communist Valhalla for a ball of rock 200 million kilometres away.

Still, at least the media are only currently casting doubts on the project’s veracity. When mention of it starts to get censored online we’ll know the Party is seriously miffed. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.