People from around the globe are keen to join the programme, which will see a select few volunteers trained as astronauts before being shipped off the planet in 2022.
“With seventy-eight thousand applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history,” commented Bas Lansdorp, Co-Founder and CEO of the group.
“These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.”
Photo credit: NASA.gov
Indeed, the group expected 500,000 applications by the time the deadline closes on Saturday 31 st August. So far, they have received responses from over 120 countries, with most coming from the USA (17324), followed by China (10241), United Kingdom (3581), Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and India.
“[They] come from a very wide range of personalities, professions and ages. This is significant because what we are looking for is not restricted to a particular background,” added the group’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Norbert Kraft.
As part of the application, every person is required to explain their motivation in a one minute video.
“I’m an astrophysics student who is passionately interested in everything to do with science, especially astronomy, physics, engineering/electronics, biology, chemistry, and psychology,” said Catherine Bettenbender, aged 20, from America.
“I am the perfect astronaut for Mars one becuse [sic] not only am I fit, healthy, intelligent and extremely easy to get along with but I am also quite the dreamer aswell [sic],” wrote James, a 25 year old from Australia.
The application process has four rounds, which will whittle the candidates down until 2015, when 28-40 people will be trained for around 7 years. Finally, an audience vote will elect one of the groups in training to be the envoys of humanity to Mars.
Mars – the ultimate overseas property destination?
But conditions in the ultimate overseas property destination will be a big change from home life.
The flight itself will take between seven to eight months in a very small space. Showering with water will not be an option. Instead the astronauts make do with wet wipes, as used by astronauts on the International Space Station.
Freeze dried and canned food will be the only option, explains the organisation. There will be constant noise from the ventilators, computer and life support systems, and a regimented routine of 3 hours daily exercise in order to maintain muscle mass. If the astronauts are hit by a solar storm, they must take refuge in the even smaller, sheltered area of the rocket for up to several days.
But what about their new homes on the surface?
The settlement itself on Mars will be “relatively spacious”, with living units offering over 50 m2 per person and a total of more than 200 m2 combined interior space.
Inflatable components will contain bedrooms, working areas, a living and a “plant production unit” for growing greenery.
The biggest challenge for the project? Funding. The group needs to raise $6 billion to put four people on Mars, a sum that will be raised through donations, merchandise and a reality TV show following the astronauts’ training. At the moment, the scheme has raised $84,121.
An exhausting flight? No on-board showers? Not being able to go outside your home without protection?
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