Do you enjoy dehydrated food, weightlessness and confined spaces? Then you might have what it takes to become one of the first to colonize the Red Planet. This week, the Dutch nonprofit Mars One released its basic requirements to apply to be an astronaut to visit Mars. Is a voyage to Mars really possible? The Netherlands isn’t exactly known for its space program, and some have suggested that the Mars One mission is a scam, or at the very least, a pipe dream. But if you are at least 18 years of age, in good mental and physical condition, and have no plans to return to Earth, you can apply now to be one the first humans to see the surface of an alien planet.
Even before its call for applicants, Mars One said that it had already received over 1,000 inquiries for a trip to the stars. Instead of looking for top scientists and fighter pilots, the project is more focused on people who can work well together, and dedicate 8 years of training to establish a habitable colony on Mars. The first group is slated to touch down on 2023 to establish a permanent settlement with more to arrive every two years afterward. A reality-style televised broadcast will help to select the final round of explorers, record their training, film the flight, and fund the expedition.
According to Mars One, several key factors make the mission a very real endeavor. First, there is no intention of returning the colonizers to Earth, reducing the cost and need for travel equipment. Second, solar panel technology eliminates the need to build costly and dangerous nuclear power sources. Simple robotic rovers can help do most of the work before colonizers even arrive, and most of their ideas are formed around already existing methods an technologies. Lastly, they choose suppliers through price and quality rather than political affiliation.
The technical details of the mission are still a bit fuzzy, to say the least. But if you’re willing to suspend disbelief and really really want to get a one-way ticket to another planet, visit the Mars One site to apply.
Images Via NASA