Feeds

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

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.