The Dutch organization Mars One has a far-fetched plan to send people on a one-way trip to Mars — with the initial 2024 mission partly paid for by creating a reality show about the journey. The plan then calls for subsequent missions to establish a permanent Mars colony.
Today, Mars One revealed the 100 candidates — from an original list of more than 200,000 applicants — who might get a spot on the initial trip.
The finalists are 50 men and 50 women from all over the world. You can read about their backgrounds and reasons for volunteering to forever leave Earth on Mars One's community site.
Of course, it's worth pointing out that the odds of all this happening are extremely low. Mars One isn't close to developing the technology necessary for a single Mars mission — let alone a permanent colony — and experts say their claimed timeline and price tag for the first mission ($6 billion) is totally unrealistic. A recent MIT analysis found that under Mars One's current plan for Mars settlers to grow food inside greenhouse-like habitats, they'd suffocate within 68 days.
Still, Mars One is moving forward with the selection process, and plans to select six crews of four astronauts, to be sent to Mars every two years beginning in 2024. The organization says it'll keep winnowing down the applicants through an process formatted like a reality TV show, with tests designed to mirror the hardships of a Mars mission.
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