The public interest of terrestrial people in the colonization of the Red Planet is fundamental for fund raising and political acceptance. Money is one of the crucial issues in planning an autonomous colony. Unfortunately, today the public interest in space colonization is less than in the 60th/70th of the previous century.  Especially, the public interest for manned Mars missions is on the decline.  And last but not least, Marspedia's popularity itself leaves a lot to be desired.
- 1 Web page hit counting
- 2 Public-opinion poll in Germany
- 3 Membership in organizations
- 4 Open Issues
- 5 References
Web page hit counting
The frequency of web page views with Martian topics can be compared with those of other topics. The following examples compare the view statistics with The Beatles, one of the most popular internet topics.
The Mars page on Wikipedia is among the 1000 "Most accessed pages this month" on position 426 with 8,464 hits per day (0.004 of all). Compared with The Beatles on position 8 with 101,832 hits per day (0.05% of all) this is nearly every tenth.
The Wikipedia article Mars_colonization has been viewed 196 times in January 2009. During the same period the article Mars has been viewed 262344 times and the article The Beatles has been viewed 3171857 times.
- The hits can be easily counted.
- The data is already available.
- Only online people are measured.
- The data can be easily manipulated.
- The data do not reveal further details, such as the appreciation towards the government spending effort.
Public-opinion poll in Germany
A poll about Mars One has been performed almost exactly a year after a detailed article was published about Mars One in one of Germany's leading news magazines. The goal was to find out how well the public is informed about the project and how intense the desire is to follow it on TV. The poll covered only a small number of persons and did not exactly meet the requirements for representative surveys.
More articles about Mars One were published in all major news magazines and tabloids of Germany in the first half of 2013. Also, a German applicant was on TV for an interview during a nation-wide talk show broadcast. So, it can be estimated that at least 50 % of the German population should have been in contact with the information about Mars One.
Facts about the poll
- Date: July 28th 2013 until August 3rd 2013
- Number of requested persons: 51
- Gender: 20 male, 31 female
- Age: minimum 18, average 44
- Location: Germany
- 5 persons knew about Mars One, which is less than 10 %. All 5 persons did not hear about Mars One from friends or other persons from their social contacts. They read about it in one of the press media.
- 12 persons expressed a certain interest in watching a live video stream of the landing and the first week of the settlers on the Red Planet, which is about 24 %.
- Only one single person, who already knew about Mars One, was interested in watching a live video stream.
The outcome was quite a surprise. The existing publications should have reached about 50 % of the population directly and another 10 to 30 % indirectly through the word-of-mouth effect. So, the expectation was that 60 to 80 % of the population basically knew. But they didn't. The word-of-mouth effect could not be verified. People are not interested enough to talk about it to their friends, colleagues, neighbors. The word does not spread.
Membership in organizations
One of the best known organizations regarding Mars colonization is the Mars Society. The membership in the U.S. is currently more than 5000 persons, which is about 0.002 per cent of the population . The number is increasing faster than the population grows.
U.S. membership history:
- January 26th 2009: 5457
- March 13th 2009: 5473
- July 1st 2009: 5523
- September 16th 2009: 5575
- December 31st 2009: 5621
- September 18th 2010: 5711
Worldwide membership history:
- July 1st 2009: 7626
- September 16th 2009: 7691
- December 31st 2009: 7743
- September 18th 2010: 7822
More membership statistics (March 2009):
- In Canada there are 430 members, which makes about 0.001 per cent of the population.
- In France there are 420 members, which makes about 0.0006 per cent of the population.
- In Germany there are 190 members, which makes about 0.0002 per cent of the population.
- In India there are 10 members, which makes about 0.0000009 per cent of the population.
It seems that in the wealthiest countries there are disproportionately high numbers of members.
National Space Society (NSS)
In this organization the Mars colonization is one of many topics, which must be considered when evaluating the membership statistics. The NSS has over 12 thousand members (March 2009)..
- What is known about the trend of public awareness and interest?
- How many people know the idea, but do not see a point in spending any effort?
- How many people find it an interesting idea and appreciate the government to spend effort?
- How many people find it an interesting idea and appreciate private investigators to spend effort?
- How many people are working actively for the implementation of the idea in their spare time?
- How many people are working actively for the implementation of the idea in a full time job?
- What amount of money may people be willing to spend on the prospect of a real colonization enterprise?
- Data from more organizations needed.