US aerospace company Lockheed Martin has joined the Mars One project, with the developer of the successful NASA Phoenix lander signing up to build the critical landing pod for the private Mars mission.
Launching in 2018 if all goes well, the initial phase of the Mars One launch will see a robotic lander stuck on the red planet, as part of preparations to send a (clearly doomed) one-way manned mission to Mars some time later. As well as the lander, this first launch will see the company testing the SSTL-built communications satellite it'll be sending up there too, as the current plan for this initial off-world human colony is to turn it into some sort of Big Brother clone.
A Big Brother no one can escape from when it turns nasty. [Mars One]