Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Red Planet: 78,000 Earthlings Apply for Mars Citizenship

It seems quite a few Earthlings are anxious to get off this Big Blue Marble; more than 78,000 people have already signed up to be citizens of Mars...whenever the Red Planet should become colonized!

The Netherlands-based non-profit organization Mars One is seeking qualified candidates to colonize Mars in the future. To be a successful applicant, you must possess intelligence, resourcefulness, courage, determination and skill, as well as psychological stability, said Mars One ambassador Gerard 't Hooft, a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist. Candidates must also pass a strict health examination and be physically fit in order to be included.

There is a minor filing fee for all applications, which range from $5 to $75, the amounts based on the gross national income of the applicant's home nation. The fee for US citizens will be $38. Since announcing the search in late April, the organization has already been flooded with applications from interested parties, with over 78,000 currently being processed and examined to see if they meet eligibility requirements. Although there is no maximum age limit to be considered, all applicants must be over the age of 18 and have the ability to speak and communicate in English.

Mars One estimates it will need at least $6 billion to send just the first four inhabitants to begin the Red Planet colony, with an additional $4 billion needed to launch each subsequent crew. In addition to the application fees, the organization hopes to raise money via a reality television show that will follow its astronaut selection and training process.

Mars One plans to put its astronaut finalists through seven years of rigorous training and testing exercises that will expose them to all potential situations they might encounter during the daring mission. The astronaut trainees will also have to spend some time living in mock Mars colonies here on Earth and communicating with Mission Control via a 6 to 20-minute time delay to simulate the lag between a signal being sent and its arrival on Mars.

The organization plans to have selected 24 qualified candidates by July of 2015. As of yet, no space craft has been announced to ferry the astronauts to their new homes. (Luckily, the time frame is after Comet Siding Spring might impact the planet in October of next year!)

If you are interested in applying for the trip to Mars, you may do so here:

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