A self-portrait of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is shown in
this NASA handout composite image. The NASA rover Curiosity
survived its daredevil landing on Mars one year ago nd went
on to discover that the planet most like Earth in the solar
system could indeed have supported microbial life.
REUTERS/NASA/Handout via Reuters
Thousands of wannabe Martians from Australia - and 500
from New Zealand - have put their hand up for the biggest
relocation of a lifetime - from Earth to the Red Planet.
More than 2,500 Australians have applied for the one-way trip
to Mars, which will double as a reality TV show.
The Mars One project, which aims to create the first human
settlement on the Solar System's second-smallest planet, has
received 165,000 applications from astronaut hopefuls from
140 different countries.
"We now have a large group of applicants from where we can
start our search," Mars One chief medical officer Dr Norbert
"Finding the best crews of qualified and compatible
individuals is crucial to the success of our mission."
Successful applicants will have to say goodbye to Earth
forever, with the first crew of four people expected to
launch into space for their seven months journey to Mars in
"While sustaining human life on Mars is not trivial, it is
far easier and safer than bringing the crew back to Earth,"
Mars One says.
The organisers have the support of project ambassador and Big
Brother inventor Paul Romer and are hoping to broadcast the
process as a worldwide media event.
The audience will vote for which teams they want on Mars
Mars One says broadcasting rights and sponsorship will
predominantly fund the $6 billion project, which will start
training successful applicants in 2015.
Applications closed on August 31, but if you missed out this
time, don't despair - Mars One will send a new group of four
to the planet every two years.
Despite the expense, risks and obvious challenges, the
project boasts a long list of credentialled advisers and
ambassadors, including Nobel Prize winners, astronauts,
scientists, NASA engineers and media and television
More than 500 New Zealanders have also applied to be one of
the first humans to live on Mars.