More than 200,000 people applied for a chance to die on Mars in 2013. The Mars One project, which plans to send the first four-member crew to Mars in 2024 at the cost of $6 billion, has narrowed down its list of applicants to 100 people that includes scientists and academics as well as those who are just seeking the ultimate ‘adventure’. These ‘fortunate’ finalists will go through further training before the final 24 astronauts, who will live the rest of their lives on the Red Planet, are selected.
Those selected to colonize Mars are healthy individuals between the age of 18 and 60, and between 5’2″ and 6’3″ tall, as well as exhibit adaptability, resiliency, curiosity, ability to trust and creativity/resourcefulness.
On Mars they will get 6-45 minutes of Internet, 150 days of water supply and 68 days before the first member of the crew dies on Red Planet. The one-way trip to Mars will take 7 to 8 months. Every step of their journey will be documented for a reality TV show.
According to Mars One, “Because this mission is humankind’s mission, Mars One has the intention to make this a democratic decision. The whole world will have a vote which group of four will be the first humans on Mars”. Below is the trailer for the next round of the selection process.
Mars One is the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, and is funded through a combination of corporate sponsorship, crowd funding, merchandising, and profits from the resulting reality TV series and any new technology developed during the mission.
Once on Mars, there are no means to return to Earth. And that means people are applying and excited to die on the Red Planet. One of the finalists, Alison Rigby, 35, from East London, says, “It’s something that has never been done before, it’s a leap into the unknown. When people ask me why I am going to Mars to die, I say we are all going to die, but it’s important what you do before you die”.
While the idea of mission looks unrealistic to critics, the idea of a televised contest to go to Mars is a compelling example of science fiction becoming reality.