Starting in 2024, if all goes well some humans will have a permanent address of the Red Planet behind their names.
Mars One is a privately funded project made by a group of Dutch nonprofit organization. The purpose of the mission is to have permanent human settlement on Mars (About Mars One).
What has gotten a lot of attention about the mission is the fact that they had an open application for anyone to volunteer for the mission in 2013, with only one catch (and a large one at that): there was no coming back to Earth.
With this caveat in place, there were still 200,000 applicants for the mission. This month, 100 applicants were chosen of the 200,000 with an equal split of 50 men and 50 women. However, only 24 of these 100 will be chosen for the mission.
Due to this mission being funded by the public and not any governmental organization, public interest is critical. And it is for this reason, the 24 selected astronauts may be chosen through a reality tv show where candidates will have to go through space-related challenges for their one-way ticket to Mars. This show would would be run by the same company that produces Big Brother, Endemol.
Public profiles of the 100 candidates are available on the official Mars One Project site (links are below). The candidates have interesting backgrounds and some of the ones that caught my interest specially were Sonia Van Meter who would potentially be leaving her husband and stepchildren behind if she was selected. In an interview with the New York Times she stated that "Space exploration is worth a human life". For those interested in the extended interview, the link is below.
Another interesting candidate is Maggie Lieu who is already thinking about being the first woman to give birth on Mars. Her reasoning is in order to create a human settlement, this will be necessary. She also added that she may even find a possible father during the show when training for the mission.
I found it fascinating to read the reasons that would motivate someone to want to travel to an uninhabited planet for the rest of their lives. My question for you Whyvillians, is if you were ever given this same opportunity, would you go for it, and why or why not?
Author's Note: Sources: http://www.mars-one.com/about-mars-one,