Would you buy a one-way ticket to Mars? Seriously, just one way. It’s an interesting proposition, if not a bit frightening.
Many have pondered that it is perhaps more likely that many people can conceive of putting someone we know on a one-way flight to the Red Planet, rather than taking on the challenge ourselves. Heck, even Ralph Kramden of “The Honeymooners” fame promised to send his wife Alice “straight to the moon”, military and aerospace (mil/aero) pundits suppose.
A company in the Netherlands is putting this one-way adventure up for grabs. Mars One, a not-for-profit organization, was formed with the goal of establishing a human settlement on Mars. To that end, the organization’s leadership announced this month a call for volunteers to apply to be the first humans to travel to the Red Planet—and do so as soon as the year 2023.
This longtime mil/aero geek was intrigued (and continues to be so) by the call for volunteers, and at the same time dubious as to whether Mars One would win many applicants.
What would happen next is still surprising: Mars One received more than 78,000 applicants in just two weeks’ time!
Mars One officials will undertake an extensive review process until they have whittled this large pool of volunteers down to a field of just 28 to 40 candidates. The internal review and selection process will encompass several different rounds and come to a close in 2015, after which the would-be astronauts are expected to train for seven years—all in the hope of being among the first four humans to travel to Mars.