A Top 100 finalist from the Mars One project has broken his silence and spoken out against the space mission, calling the selection process dangerously flawed and dangerously scam-like. Fuck … can you return a space suit if you've peed out of it?

A Top 100 finalist from the Mars One project has broken his silence and spoken out against the space mission, calling the selection process dangerously flawed and dangerously scam-like. Fuck … can you return a space suit if you've peed out of it?

After filling out an application (mostly out of curiosity), former NASA researcher Joseph Roche became one of 100 finalists chosen to colonize Mars. Part of that sweet housing deal was that colonists had to stay there; they could never come home and would have to stay there in the name of science and humanitarian exploration. 

Personally, we thought they should just send everyone who wants to go to Mars there, because it's getting really crowded in this hot tub and we can't tell who's playing footsie with us. But, according to some statements Roche gave in a recent interview with Medium, it appears that the whole Mars One project may be more of a giant, systematic scam than a step forward for mankind.

In the interview, Roche expressed many concerns, ranging from inaccurate media coverage of the Mars One application process (there were only 2,761 applicants, not 200,000) to its psychological or psychometric testing (or lack thereof) to how leading contenders earned their spot. He says they paid for it. Fine with us, that's just means less yuppies to eat up all the good caviar.

“When you join the ‘Mars One Community,’ which happens automatically if you applied as a candidate, they start giving you points,” Roche explains. “You get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them.” Basically, whoever has the most Mars One commemorative mugs gets to colonize another planet.

And, Roche continued, "If media outlets offer payment for an interview, the organization would like to see 75 percent of the profit." As a result, the most high-profile candidates are the ones that brought in the most money.

So far, to secure his position as Earth's first space colonizer, he’s completed a questionnaire, uploaded a video, got a medical exam, took a quick quiz over Skype, and … that's it. That's not a lot to ask of someone who holds humanity's future in his hands.

Furthermore, despite making the final 100, Roche has never met anyone from Mars One in person, which just doesn't make sense. You always want to meet your roommates before you move in so you can have a discussion about chore delegation and appropriate noise levels. A planned multi-day, regional interview with the candidates seems to have been canceled as well, fueling Roche's doubts that there are other defined candidates at all.

But wait, there's more! Mars One's contract with production company Endemol has been voided; Mars One was hoping to use it to generate $6 billion from a reality show about the project. We mean that would be a really good episode of the Real World … but still. You don't launch people into space to see who hooks up with who in the Soyuz flight deck. Or do you? Weirdly horny about it …

A former adviser to the project, theoretical physicist Gerard Hooft, has also come out and said a realistic launch date isn’t 10 years from now as it was advertised as being — it’s 100 years, and not even in space-time. In earth time. That's a really long time to wait, considering how the average life span of a human is 78 years. Well, that explains why they're not holding Mars One candidate sleepovers right now.

Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp has responded  to all this, saying the bad press and Roche's allegations are untrue.

“There are a lot of current round three candidates that did not make any donations to Mars One and there are also lot of people that did not make it to the third round that contributed a lot to Mars One,” he said. “The two things are not related at all and to say that they are is simply a lie.” Yeah, sure. Tell us again how you wouldn't prioritize candidates with money … Mars colonization ain't cheap.

Lansdorp maintains that there were indeed 200,000 applications, and that criticism by the organization’s advisers is valued because it helps improve their mission. Their next step, he says, is to find out which of the candidates “have what it takes” through more thorough selection processes, team and individual challenges, and longer interviews … or Skype sessions, or AIM chat room encounters or however they're doing it.  They’re also in talks with another production company to pick up the reality show where it left off.

And as far as the delays are concerned, he says, “is it really a failure if we land our first crew two, four, six, or even eight years late?”

… Yeah, kind of! Although it would allow us to get caught up on House of Cards before we started watching the Mars One reality shit show. Okay, okay, we're cool with it. See you in 1,000 years.