Mars One Company Seeks Astronaut Applicants For One-Way Mars Journey

The Mars One company is opening its application process for the selection of four astronauts who will fly to Mars in 2023, if all goes well and some $6 billion is found to fund the mission. There's one big drawback, for anyone who's interested: You'll never come back to Earth.

Mars One is planning a rather incredible space mission: It wants to send a group of four astronauts to the Red Planet, to form a colony where they'll work, live, and die. The astronauts will create farms, build habitats covered in meters of Martian soil to protect from radiation, and eventually build bigger and better habitats.

If you're interested you can apply today: The first stage is a simple online application process, which includes the chance to make a short video of around a minute in length in which you press your reasons for being selected. If this is familiar, it's because you may recognize the system as being similar to the way some reality TV shows find their new stars. And this is actually part of the whole plan—as the astronaut selection process rambles on nations will be able to vote for their favorite candidate, and the training process will be televised. Ultimately the mission itself will be on TV, too, and it's no surprise that one supporter of the project is Paul Römer, who co-created Big Brother.

Lest you think this is all just rather silly, during the press conference Mars One mentioned that they've been in serious discussions with SpaceX to supply the Mars lander and capsule. The capsule will be a larger version of the Dragon capsule that SpaceX has successfully sent to the ISS. SpaceX has been testing a rocket descent system that seems like it could be an ideal lander vehicle for Mars—if evolved in design over the next 10 years.

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  • FixEarthFirst

    The premise of this project is absurd. Never to return? Why not? Some idiot with too much money is trying to exploit fame hungry people to place themselves in harms way in the name of "science/entertainment"?  Wait, is it April fools? I reread the article. Sounds to stupid to be true.
    What if they find a fast way to travel back and forth within the next 20 years.. are they signing a contract that doesn't allow them to return? 

    Is this the beginning of the Weyland Corporation? " The Interplanetary Media Group is a for-profit company which can secure investments, and manages the broadcasting rights of the training and launch of the astronauts, and their residence on Mars" 

    Oh wait, this crap might be real?

    We, as a society, cannot allow the bastardization of space travel as an extension to reality television.  If by some idiotic chance that this may actually come to pass, we are doomed as a species.

    "The Mars One foundation will be the owner of the Mars settlement, the simulation outposts on Earth, and it will be the employer of the project management team of the mission, and the Mars astronauts. The Mars One foundation owns a majority share in the Interplanetary Media Group (IMG) - the company which manages the media associated with the human mission to Mars. Furthermore, the Mars One foundation is the sole supervisor of the operations of the Interplanetary Media Group."

    I'm all for privatization of space travel, but to willingly put humans at risk for the sole purpose of entertainment, we might as well make Death Race, Hunger Games and Battle Royal a reality as well.

    Please someone tell me this is just a joke.

  • signmeup

    How is it you figure that a $6 billion mission to send the first humans to Mars, with the intent to establish a permanent colony and thus pave the way (both techno- and psychologically) for future pilgrims, will have as its sole purpose the entertainment of couch-bound Earthlings? Mars will be another Earth some day, with a temperate climate and a breathable atmosphere. The only obstacles are time, effort, and money (look to Robert Zubrin's The Case for Mars for more info). If, in an era of financial instability and budget amputations, someone has figured out how to advance the colonization of space by exploiting public media, more power to them, I say.
    I will admit I'm skeptical about their method for selecting candidates...