Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | Mars | scam | Joseph Roche | Bas Lansdorp

Mars One Finalist on Scam Claim: 'I Still Believe'

By    |   Friday, 20 March 2015 06:10 PM

A New Jersey woman on the short list for a privately funded one-way trip to Mars is challenging accusations from another would-be space colonist that the venture may be a Red Planet scam.

"I'm still hopeful and I still believe in the project," data analyst Cassie Morphy, 32, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Friday.

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Joseph Roche, an assistant professor of education at Trinity College in Dublin and a former NASA researcher with a Ph.D. in astrophysics, described the Mars One project, in which he too was a finalist — until he quit — as flawed and suspiciously scam-like.

Roche made his statements to Medium in an article picked up by the Daily Mail.

Morphy retorted that the criticisms are "junk" and typical of the "naysayers" that dog any great undertaking.

Morphy spoke with "MidPoint" last month after making the round of 100 from more than 200,000 applicants. On Friday, she said that Mars One and its Dutch founder, Bas Lansdorp, are aggressively fighting back.

"There's a video out disputing most of what was claimed in the [Medium] article, and there's a rebuttal going out there as well," she said. "They're addressing the issues."

"A lot of it is just complete junk," Morphy said of Roche's case against Mars One.

"One of the claims was that there was only really 2,600 people that put in applications — we have no clue where they got that number," she said. "Bas volunteered to show them that 200,000 people put in their application for this, and they had no interest in even verifying their own facts."

Roche told Medium that contact with the home office is intermittent, primarily via Skype, and that none of the promised psychological or psychometric testing of applicants has occurred.

He said the organizers do, however, encourage applicants and finalists to buy Mars One merchandise and to donate most of their proceeds for any paid public appearances they do that are related to the project.

Morphy, who previously told "MidPoint" that she had undergone "a lot of training" for Mars One, sounded satisfied on Friday with the amount of correspondence and feedback involved.

"I've been getting emails once or twice a month," she said. "Right now, we're waiting on the contract for the 100 or so candidates that are still in the running. We're going to be signing a contract for going forward in the process."

Asked if she has ever entertained the possibility that Lansdorp might really be running a con, Morphy said: "I've met Bas personally and I do not see this as being a scam. The way that he spoke about the possibility — there's just no way that this is a scam. It might fail, but it's not a scam."

Morphy said the first humans carried by Mars One are supposed to set foot on the mysterious planet in 2027, after an eight-month journey, to begin establishing the first extraterrestrial human colony.

There have been announced delays, but, Morphy said, "I would be more suspicious if there were no delays."

"It's just a couple of people that are trying to bash this," she said of Mars One skeptics — though there are arguably more than a couple.

"Any big project, any huge undertaking is going to experience at least some delays and some naysayers," she said.

Morphy said she still has second thoughts about leaving life on Earth.

"This would be my life," she said of Mars. "It's not that I'm leaving anything behind; it's that I'm getting just this whole other life that I've been dreaming about since I was a kid."

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A New Jersey woman on the short list for a privately funded one-way trip to Mars is challenging accusations from another would-be space colonist that the venture may be a Red Planet scam.
Mars, scam, Joseph Roche, Bas Lansdorp
Friday, 20 March 2015 06:10 PM
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