Mars One estimates the cost of putting the first four people on Mars at about six billion US dollars.
This number has been determined as follows: The mission design was split up into a number of very large components, as described in the technology chapter. Mars One identified one or more potential suppliers for each component, and discussed its cost during the meetings we had with the companies.
It needs to be stressed that the figure of six billion dollars is an estimate. For some of the components, the cost can be projected quite accurately. The price of a Falcon Heavy launcher for example, which Mars One plans to use, is mentioned on Space Exploration Technologies' website. For other components, like the rover, the cost is trickier to pin down.
Mars One has also made estimates of the operational expenditures. The six billion figure is the cost of all the hardware combined, plus the operational expenditures, plus margins.
Mars One is now looking for a round of funding to pay our potential suppliers to perform conceptual design studies, which will result in more accurate calculations of the cost of each component and its mass. With the results of these studies, Mars One will have a much better indication of the mission's price and will have a far more robust and detailed case to present for a new round of sponsorship and / or investment.
Back to the FAQ overview