I am Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars-One - Mankind's mission to Mars. AMA!
Mars One is a not for profit foundation organizing Mankind's mission to Mars. I am one of the two co-founders of Mars One. Mars One announced the search for the first settlers in April of this year, resulting in more than 200,000 applications. We will announce the round 2 candidates before the end of the year. On the 10th of December we announced that we selected Lockheed Martin for our first unmanned Mars lander in 2018 and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd for the 2018 Mars orbiter. These will be the first private missions to Mars! We also started our first crowd funding campaign, with some really cool participation possibilities. You can find it here: http://igg.me/at/marsone/
Watch the press conference where we announced our contracts with Lockheed Martin and SSTL here: http://youtu.be/TePLtbTzzZ0. Lockheed Martin Chief Engineer for Civil Space, Ed Sedify, speaks for Lockheed Martin 9m20s into the press conference. He was also the Lockheed Martin program manager for the 2007 NASA Phoenix mission. Right after him, Sir Martin Sweeting, founder of SSTL speaks about the orbiter.
Find the Lockheed Martin press release here on the Lockheed Martin website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/december/1210-ss-marsone.html Find the Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd press release here on their website: http://www.sstl.co.uk/News-and-Events?story=4316
Byebye everyone, thanks for your questions!