Mars One plans to fund most of its ambitious activities via a global reality-TV media event, which will follow the mission from the selection of astronauts through their first years on the Red Planet. But the sponsorship money is important, helping the company — which had been self-funded for the last 18 months — get to that point, officials said Wednesday (Aug. 29).
"Receipt of initial sponsorship marks the next step to humans setting foot on Mars," Mars One founder and president Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. "A little more than a year ago we embarked down this path, calling upon industry experts to share in our bold dream. Today, we have moved from a technical plan into the first stage of funding, giving our dream a foundation in reality."
Initial sponsors include Byte Internet (a Dutch Internet/Webhosting provider); Dutch lawfirm VBC Notarissen; Dutch consulting company MeetIn; New-Energy.tv (an independent Dutch web station that focuses on energy and climate); and Dejan SEO (an Australia-based search engine optimization firm).