Are you interested in going to Mars? A non-profit Dutch organization, Mars One, is aiming to send astronauts to the Red Planet on a one-way trip so as to build a colony of settlers there.
The Mars One team announced that they will begin recruiting astronauts this July. They will start accepting application videos for a fee that will vary from country to country. The poor nations will get a price break, while the maximum charge will apparently be $25, reports Space.com. They are planning to send four astronauts to land on Mars in 2023.
Anyone who is at least 18-years-old, adaptable and willing to work in a team can send their application video explaining why they should be selected for the trip to Mars. The organization is hoping to raise money by getting the whole project - from selection process, first landing on Mars and colonization - to be televised as a global reality television series.
Once the selection process is done, the candidates will be trained physically and psychologically. They will be trained to live in conditions prevailing in the Mars colony, where they would generate energy from solar panels, recycle water and grow their own food. The training base will also have a 40-communication delay imitating the time lag that would prevail due to the distance between Earth and Mars.
The television viewers will vote to select the astronauts, from a pool of candidates selected by the Mars One experts, to be sent to Mars.
Astronauts should be ready to never return back to Earth, as the organization is planning only for a one-way trip. On being questioned as to why astronauts will be sent on a one-way trip, Mars One's co-founder Bas Lansdorp explained to BBC: Candidates would lose their bone and muscle mass after a strenuous seven to eight month journey. They would not be able to adjust to the Earth's stronger gravity after spending more time on Mars which has weaker gravitational field.
It is not sure if the mission would be feasible, but the announcement has already generated a lot of interest from individuals. According to Mars One, the organization has so far received emails from at least 10,000 people.
In similar lines, another group - Inspiration Mars Foundation - led by millionaire and former space tourist Dennis Tito is planning to send two humans on a one-and-a-half year mission to Mars and back to Earth in 2018.