78,000 People Apply for One-Way Trip to Mars Through Mars One

Posted on May 10, 2013

Mars One Settlement

Mars One is a Dutch not-for-profit organization that has the lofty goal of establishing a human settlement on Mars in 2023. The organization has been taking applications for people who want to go on the one-way mission. Mars One says seventy-eight thousand people have applied for the trip so far.

Ars Technica says it costs about $38 U.S. before people can even view the application. Mars One wants half a million applications. It plans to reduce the number to 28 to 40 in 2015. Mars One says the selected people will then train for 7 years for their one-way trip to Mars. Mars One argues its mission will be cheaper than NASA's planned Mars mission because it is never going to bring the people back to Earth. The colonists will stay on Mars in that settlement pictured in the artist's interpretation above for the rest of their lives if everything goes as planned.

Bas Lansdorp, Mars One Co-Founder and CEO said in a statement, "With seventy-eight thousand applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history. These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants. Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I'm proud that this is exactly what we see happening."

ABC News reports that the ambitious project has plenty of skeptics. There will be Mars settlements one day, but there are questions as to whether Mars One will be able to gather the resources and talent needed to pull off the complex mission. Mars One tries to answer many of the questions in a FAQ that can be found here.

Below is a video from the organization about its plans. Mars One promises a huge media spectacle, which there would be if the Mars One project actually does become a reality. The New York Times noticed Mars One's reality slant with its article, Reality TV for the Red Planet. Mars One does spend a significant amount of time focusing on the reality television aspect of the journey in the promotional video. This is because the organization plans to raise some of its funding this way, but getting the science right is going to be the crucial part. BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos says the Mars colonists could all get cancer without a proper habitat. Amos says, "They will be exposed to a huge rate of ionising radiation. Without a hardened habitat on Mars, cancer would kill them within a year."

Take a look:

Image: Bryan Versteeg/Mars One

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