Skip to main content

'Citizen Mars' Web Series Features Would-Be Red-Planet Colonists

Artist's Concept of Mars One Colony
Artist's concept of Mars One's envisioned colony on the Red Planet. (Image credit: Bryan Versteeg/Mars One)

A new Web TV series follows the efforts of five people who hope to be among the first humans to set foot on Mars.

The subjects of the new series, which is called "Citizen Mars" and airs on, aim to become astronauts with the Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One. That group plans to land four people on the Red Planet in 2027, kicking off a permanent colony there.

"There's a tremendous amount of interest in the Mars One project, and many are skeptical about the mission's feasibility, which is why we thought it an important story to tell, and why the subjects involved are so compelling," Engadget Editor-in-Chief Michael Gorman said in a statement.

"Citizen Mars" is billed as the first docu-drama to focus on the personal lives of Mars One contestants. It follows five astronaut hopefuls who range in age from 19 to 35 and come from diverse backgrounds. One has a Ph.D. in quantum biology, for example, while another works at a life-insurance company and also plays pro basketball in Egypt.

The series launched Tuesday (Sept. 1) and will broadcast five episodes through its run at Exclusive T-shirt. Available to Populate Mars. Buy Now (Image credit: Store)

Mars One's ambitious plans have attracted scrutinty and criticism. In 2014, for instance, a group of MIT graduate students published a study questioning the colonization project's feasibility. The authors went head to head with Mars One representatives at a conference this August, arguing that the cost estimate Mars One has published — $6 billion to achieve the 2027 landing, with most of the funding to be raised by staging a global media event — is too optimistic.

During the August debate, Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp said that the group's plans are still in flux at the moment, and that cost estimates could indeed rise. But, he said, Mars One is committed to putting boots on the Red Planet and is organizing its efforts to meet that overall goal, even if the price tag tops $6 billion.

Follow Elizabeth Howell @howellspace, or @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+. Original article on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.