Gerard ‘t Hooft je eden od najslavnejših živečih teoretičnih fizikov visokih energij (med drugim seveda tudi Nobelov nagrajenec). Sedaj očitno del svojega časa namenja tudi misiji na Mars. Iz intervjuja na Slate (originalno v New Scientist)
GS: Has Mars One had many applicants?GtH: So far, almost 40,000 people from all over the world have applied to become Martians. This is many more than I had imagined, although some psychologists and cultural anthropologists had apparently predicted there would be at least a million candidates. Everyone is now being asked about their motivation, and thousands of replies have already been collected.
In January, Mars One secured investments from companies in the Netherlands and South Africa. These funds will be used to set up the astronaut selection program later this year and to finance conceptual design studies.
GS: How do you feel about being associated with a project funded by reality TV shows? Might you live to regret it?GtH: Well, if people blame me for it, I have brought it on myself. However, this is the world we live in today—governments are not prepared to finance projects like Mars One, so the money has to come from some other source, and if it is a TV show like Big Brother or X Factor, then so be it.
Then again, I would rather not be involved with the TV show itself. And yes, at times I have asked myself what I have got myself into. After all, it does sound like a crazy plan. But so far, it is still fun, everything is still on track, and there do not appear to be any major obstacles. So I would tell my critics to let the facts speak for themselves.