We’ve talked about Mars One, a sort of half-planned one-way mission to Mars before, but always with the question of who would actually sign up for it. As it turns out, a lot of people signed up for it. The applications for the mission have crossed the 100,000 mark. We’re still not convinced this mission is really happening.
The Mars One pitch is pretty simple. They want to train a four-person team of astronaut colonists and send them on a one-way trip to Mars. Returning a crew from Mars back to Earth is one of the biggest challenges of sending humans to the planet, so Mars One is simply eliminating that problem altogether.
According to the Mars One website, over 100,000 people have signed up as potential crew members. That field will be winnowed down to a group of 40 people from around the world to begin training for the mission with four of them ultimately launching in 2022 to colonize Mars. At least that’s the plan.
When the number of applicants crossed 78,000 back in May, Mars One co-found Bas Lansdorp called it the most desirable job in history. The applicants all pay a small fee that varies based on the gross domestic product of their country. In the U.S. the fee is $35, and so far about 30,000 people from the U.S. have signed up.
Those application fees alone add up to a pretty decent amount of cash, but considering the mission is expected to cost $6 billion it’s going to take a lot more than some fees to get off the ground. Lansdorp plans to pay for the mission by treating the whole thing like a reality TV event and having companies license the broadcasting rights to different stages of the Mars One project.
People keep applying to this thing, but it doesn’t seem like any of the major concerns about a manned mission to Mars have been addressed. According to the website for Mars One they’re working with companies like SpaceX and Paragon to supply the nuts and bolts of the mission itself, and we get the feeling that Mars One is leaving those problems to its suppliers to solve.
It’s a bold plan, but it still doesn’t seem entirely worked out. At this point what people are buying into is the idea. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we started a colony on Mars? Yes, but I’m not entirely convinced Mars One can actually pull that off. Though apparently, at least 100,000 people disagree with me.
To keep the public interested, Mars One released the trailer for a film titled One Way Astronaut. It tells the story of four of the applicants, and Lansdorp. Here’s the trailer:
You can buy or rent a digital download of the film at onewayastronaut.com. If two billion people rent the movie for $2.95 then the mission will be very near it’s $6 billion goal.
- Is “Mars One Crew Member” really the most desirable job in history?
- The contestant search was announced in April of this year
- We first heard about Mars One in June of 2012, and we’re still not convinced