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Travel To Mars With A Short Video And $25, But Say Goodbye To Earth

Apr 16, 2013 03:31 PM EDT
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Want to go to Mars? A one-minute video and $25 might be enough to get you on the way. But you won't be coming back to Earth, either.

Mars One, the Netherlands-based non-profit with a mission to established a manned colony on Mars, plans to get the first four Martians to the Red Planet by 2023.

Today, Space.com reported new information about the Mars One candidate selection process, which will take place in conjunction with a two-year reality television series.

Mars One will begin accepting video applications soon and reportedly plans to use the application fee to finance the costs of the ongoing selection process and further technology studies.

"We expect a million applications with 1-minute videos, and hopefully some of those videos will go viral," Mars One co-founder and chief executive officer Bas Lansdorp told SPACE.com

Any person at least 18 years old can apply by sending in a video explaining why he or she should be selected along with their application fee. The fee will be no greater than $25, Space.com reported, and will be reduced for people applying from lower income nations.

Successful applicants will then face seven years of training, which will include spending three months at a time in a simulated Mars colony.

Lansdorp said the training base will have a 40 minute communications delay to represent the real-time lag that would be present in Earth-to-Mars communication.

Mars One wants to have 24 astronauts, organized into six teams of four, by summer of 2015. But selected candidates will have to be prepared to say goodbye to Earth forever. No return missions are planned.   

If you think this sound like the plot for a TV show, you're exactly right. Mars One plans on raising the $6 billion it will need to send the first team to the Red Planet with a global reality TV show. (Paul Romer, the co-creator of "Big Brother" is one of the Mars One ambassadors.) 

But Lansdorp won't call the project reality TV. 

"It is not our goal to create reality TV show, our goal is to send people to Mars," he said in 2012. 

Lansdorp cites the $4 billion raised in just three weeks from the 2012 London Olympics as evidence that his funding plan will work.

In addition to seeking corporate backing for revenue, Mars One has also earned some intellectual backing as well.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Gerard 't Hooft is an ambassador for the project. You can read his take on the Mars One project here.

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