MORE than 100,000 people have applied to take a one-way trip to Mars in order to colonise the Red Planet, the mission’s organisers say.
Participants on the Mars One project, which is planned to start in 2022, would spend the rest of their lives there, CNN reports.
Mars One CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said the first crew’s mission would cost $US6 billion, which would be paid for by sponsors and media companies in exchange for broadcasting rights of the group’s colonisation of Mars.
“What we want to do is tell the story to the world. When humans go to Mars, when they settle on Mars and build a new Earth, a new planet. This is one of the most exciting things that ever happened, and we want to share the story with the entire world,” Mr Lansdorp said.
This year the Mars One project only plans to pick 40 out of the thousands of applicants. Just four of them will participate in the first mission, which will leave in September 2022 and land in April 2023. Another group of four would leave two years later. No one would return to Earth.
Astronauts must complete eight years of training, and will be required to carry almost 2500kgs of “useful load” to Mars. But that won’t include much water or oxygen – Mr Lansdorp says the astronauts will manufacture that on Mars.
“We will evaporate [water from Martian soil] and condense it back into its liquid state,” he said.
To apply you must be over 18 and must pay the application fee, which varies based on each country’s gross domestic product per capita.
“We wanted it to be high enough for people to have to really think about it and low enough for anyone to be able to afford it,” Mr Lansdorp said.
But space travel experts are not convinced the project is viable, citing concerns over radiation and the fact that humans have never travelled the distance to Mars.
Mr Lansdorp says he is convinced the project is viable. If you are too, you can sign up for it here.