Step right up and prove why you should get a one-way ticket to Mars! Well, wait — you might want to know a little more about the venture first.
A Dutch company called Mars One began looking Monday for volunteer astronauts to fly to Mars. Departure for the Red Planet is scheduled for 2022, landing seven months later in 2023.
The space travelers will return … never. They will finish out their lives on Mars, representatives from the nonprofit said.
“It’s likely that there will be a crematorium,” said CEO Bas Lansdorp. “It’s up to the people on Mars to decide what to do with their dead.”
Still, the company said it has received more than 10,000 e-mails from interested would-be spacefarers.
The one-way ticket makes the mission possible because it greatly reduces costs, and the technology for a return flight doesn’t exist, according to Mars One’s website. At a news conference, Lansdorp maintained that “no new inventions are needed to land humans on Mars.”
NASA: Yes, Mars could have hosted life
The biggest obstacles, he said, are financial. The company has revealed some of its sponsors and hopes to gain more via media coverage. It’s not clear whether enough money will be collected in time.
There are also practical issues: Can the kinks in having a sustainable system for people to survive in such a harsh environment be worked out by 2023?
“Questions of reliability and robustness have to be answered before we leave Earth,” said Grant Anderson of Paragon Space Development Corporation, which builds life-support systems and is joining the Mars One effort.
Anyone may apply, for a fee
The company announced a casting call for candidates at a news conference in New York City.
Anyone 18 or older may apply via video but there is an application fee — $38 for U.S. applicants. The money will fund the mission.
Mars One wants to build a colony that will be able to grow with an ever-expanding crew. The group has a plan for testing the technology that would transport people and things.
The group wants to launch a supply mission that will land on Mars as soon as October 2016. A “settlement rover” will land in 2018.