Thousands around the world applying for one-way ticket to Mars

May 09, 2013 by Deborah Netburn
Mars
Mars. Credit: NASA

Do you dream of living on Mars? Then turn on your webcam. You've got an application video to make. Mars One, a Netherlands-based group that wants to turn the colonizing of Mars into a reality television phenomenon, has started accepting applications for its astronaut selection program.

In just two weeks, more than 78,000 people from more than 120 countries have applied.

You don't need previous experience in rocket science, astronomy or really anything to apply for the Mars One astronaut selection program - but you will need to be at least 18 years old and have nerves of steel.

Mars doesn't offer much in terms of human comforts: There's no , you can't breathe the air, the atmosphere won't protect you from and the surface temperature fluctuates wildly.

Also, the ticket that Mars One hopes to offer up is exclusively one way. Once you go, you won't be coming back.

Mars settlers wanted. Send audition tape. No, seriously.

Here in America it will cost you $38 to submit an application to apply.mars-one.com/. You will be asked to answer questions, including why you want to go to Mars and how you feel about never returning to Earth. You will also be asked to describe your sense of humor.

"What we are looking for is not restricted to a particular background," Norbert Kraft, the chief medical officer for the group, said in a statement. "From Round 1 we will take forward the most committed, creative, resilient and motivated applicants."

The plan is to have 28 to 40 candidates selected by 2015. Those candidates will train in groups for about seven years and eventually - if the project lasts that long - an audience will vote on which group will go to Mars.

But before you get too excited, keep in mind that Mars One still has a lot of fundraising and engineering ahead before its mission to Mars becomes a real possibility, co-founder Bas Landsorp told the Los Angeles Times last June.

He estimates it will cost $6 billion to fly people to Mars and make the planet habitable for them when they get there. He's hoping to raise part of those funds through the application process, and with a subsequent worldwide reality show.

Many applicants have made their application video public on the Mars One website and you can filter the videos by country of origin, age, gender and popularity.

As of now, the most popular application video was submitted by Anders, a 51-year-old man from Sweden.

Speaking calmly into his webcam with just slightly accented English, he explains why he wants to go .

"Well, I often fantasize to just get on board a spaceship and go, to explore the universe," he says. "I often get the feeling that I don't belong here, but out there. In space."

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NotAsleep
3.7 / 5 (6) May 09, 2013
The Mars One program was suspect from the start. Heading to Mars in the timeframe they propose can be called extremely aggressive while getting approval to send people on one-way trips to Mars is unlikely. Still, I was once excited about the improbable prospect of a private venture to Mars. The venture is certainly possible with current technologies, albeit prohibitively expensive. The business model intrigued me, especially when they became "non-profit". I was even interested in applying to be a part of the project until I familiarized myself with the astronaut selection program. Based on my understanding of human physiology and the skills requirements of a crew to Mars, I found it quaint that the selection process would be open to nearly anyone from the human population. Once I discovered they would be charging people regardless of their abilities to accomplish a mission to Mars, I realized the for-profit arm of the company was (cont...)
NotAsleep
3.7 / 5 (6) May 09, 2013
merely leveraging the hopes of the masses to line the pockets of the owners. Furthermore, if they have real psychologists working for their group then I'm terribly disappointed with Mars One's refusal to accept their opinion that any emotionally grounded individual capable of accomplishing a Mars mission would refuse to pay an application fee to a company with no real technical grounding in accomplishing said mission. Only the gullible would freely invest their own money at this point.

Furthermore, the application fee is based on one's country's GDP (which only allows average people in poor countries to apply, excluding poor people in all countries). If the company is actually planning on sending people to Mars, I find their strategy disturbing and hope the next round of news from Mars One is an apology and an announcement of refunds. If you plan on spending money on this, you might as well go pay to name a star while you're at it. Money down the drain
nanotech_republika_pl
3 / 5 (2) May 09, 2013
Oh, you must always spoil the fun. Go to sleep.
NotAsleep
not rated yet May 13, 2013
Sorry, nanotech. I forgot that ignorance is bliss