Have you ever dreamed of going to space? Did you watch Star Trek and want to boldly go where no one has gone before? Well, you're in luck. A trip to Mars may only be one audition tape away.
Mars One, a organization based in the Netherlands that wants to make a reality show into a global reality television show, is encouraging anyone who wants to go to Mars to apply, no matter the skills or lack thereof an applicant may posses. There is one catch, though; you must be willing to leave Earth forever. This trip is strictly one-way, at least for now. Even if you do get accepted you will be waiting a long time to actually set foot on the Red Planet
Bas Lansdorp, Mars One co-founder and general director, insists that he is serious about the project and that it is not a hoax. In an interview with Space.com, he claims that their first goal is to establish a four-person colony by around 2023. The organization has estimated that the mission will cost $6 billion dollars, which will be raised through a huge media spectacle in which advertising and sponsorship can be sold. Thus the call for auditions. The eventually goal is to create a self-sustaining colony, although Lansdorp insists that such a goal "will take many, many, decades."
Mars One Computer Mockup of the Colony (via Digital Trends)
You will not need to be trained in space travel or even have a scientific degree to be considered. Instead it is claimed that you will simply need to submit an audition video and pay an application fee, which may be as low as $25. The selection process is expected to take at least two years and will be televised, reality show style, with audience participation assisting along the way towards the final 24. These 24 would then undergo seven years of training in order to become spaceworthy for a trip to Mars. This apparently would also be televised.
Despite skepticism over the overall feasibility and technical details of the Mars trip, there has been a rush of applicants. According to Mars One, they have received 1000 applications from over 100 countries around the world. Mars One claims they will design five types of landers, rovers, planetary life support, supply stores, habitats, radiation shielding, and communications equipment for Mars-to-Earth communications. So far, they claim to have a conceptual rover design and are in talks with SpaceX, the private space transport company.
If you want to place your life in Mars One’s hand, do not e-mail them your application just yet. Mars One has not started the formal application process, saying that it will start sometime during the first half of 2013. Time will tell if they can even keep that promise on top of the other lofty ones they have told the world to this date.