Friday, May 10, 2013

More than 78,000 sign up for a chance at a one-way ticket to Mars

If you think it is adventurous enough to take a flight into space, say via Virgin Galactic's (relatively) soon to launch service, how about a trip to Mars? How about a one-way trip to Mars. As of Thursday, more than 78,000 people wanted to go.

Dutch non-profit organization Mars One aims to send a crew to the Red Planet in 2022 -- and they won't be coming back. According to Mars One, the physiological changes in the human body that would be present after an extended stay on Mars would prevent a return to Earth.

So far, more than 78,000 from over 120 countries have signed up as possible volunteers, with Mars One saying it expects as many as half a million applicants by the time the sign-up closes on Aug. 31. Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars One, said:
This is turning out to be the most desired job in history.
While Mars One isn't asking for volunteers to have experience in sciences, technology, or astronomy, you will need to be at least 18 years of age.

It costs $38 to apply at Applicants will be required to upload a video, and to answer questions such as they want to go to Mars and how they feel about never returning to Earth. Applicants are also asked to describe their sense of humor, perhaps because of the stresses involved in such a long, arduous flight.

At this point, Mars One's plan is for somewhere between 28 and 40 candidates to be selected by 2015. Those candidates will -- in groups -- for about seven years. Eventually, assuming the project hasn't been cancelled (anything can happen) a vote will take place to decide which group will go to Mars.

The candidates will also be contestants, it seems. Mars One plans to raise much of the mission’s estimated $6 billion cost via a reality TV show which will follow the applicants as they undergo training for the trip. The vote will likely take place "American Idol" style.

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