Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

I know I'm supposed to believe everything Elon Musk says, but I'm not quite sold on this Mars thing.

It's not that I didn't enjoy The Martian. It's more that Matt Damon didn't seem to be enjoying Mars.

Still, over the last few years some have become giddy at the prospect of a life up there.

One company in the vanguard of this giddiness was Mars One.

Mars One Ventures offered the prospect of a fine one-way ticket to those of intrepid spirit and, perhaps, difficult family relationships.

Now, the Verge tells me that Mars One Ventures has gone bankrupt.

The company itself posted a notice that it is currently in administration, yet dangled the prospect of new investment that would lead to the company establishing "a marketing machine, creating continuous content about these activities, evaluated from all angles, including technological, psychological, economical, and ethical aspects."

Some businesses are tough.

Mars One expressly declared at its inception that it didn't have the ability to bring humans back from Mars.

This surely limited its potential market. 

Buying a one-way ticket to a far-away place without Netflix or a Wendy's isn't necessarily an attractive prospect for many.

Then again, a few years ago I talked to Gillian Finnerty. She, then 21, was one of Mars One's first 100 finalists and had declared that this was really no different from moving to Australia.

At the time, she explained to me: 

My parents will be about 68 by the time i leave anyways btw :) & if i do happen to fall madly in love I will indeed rethink.

You see, it's hard to be fully committed to an idea that's fraught with potential problems.

In 2014, large brains at MIT performed an analysis of whether Mars One's ideas were even feasible, given the current technology available. They were deeply skeptical.


If all food is obtained from locally grown crops, as Mars One envisions, the vegetation would produce unsafe levels of oxygen, which would set off a series of events that would eventually cause human inhabitants to suffocate.

Which sounds like something of a drawback.

Perhaps one day going to Mars, even for a vacation, might be the norm.

For now, let's let the Tesla and SpaceX CEO get up there first -- as he's vowed to do -- and report back as to what it's like.

I'm sure he can sell the concept well.

Published on: Feb 12, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.