One-Way Ticket to Mars Attracts Global Attention

This artist’s illustration depicts plans for Mars One’s human colony on the Red Planet. Credit: Mars One

There appears to be no shortage of wannabe planetary colonists willing to live—and possibly die on Mars.

Mars One—a controversial project that aims to send humans on a one-way trip to the Red Planet by 2023—has garnered interest from 202,586 folks from more than 140 countries who sent in video applications. (Related: “Best Video Applications For a One-way Trip to Mars.”)

The majority of applicants (47,654) for this one-way trip to Mars come from the United States, with India (20,747) and China (13,176) coming in second and third place.

Now that the first of a four-round selection process ended on August 31, a Mars One committee will take the next few months to whittle down the number of applicants (yet-to-be-determined) who will be notified by the end of this year.

The plan eventually is to have the candidates undergo mental and physical challenges. Teams from different regions will compete against each other until only  24 to 40 candidates with the “right stuff” are left standing in 2015.

These remaining Mars colony candidates will then embark on a seven-year training odyssey that, in partnership with spaceship builder SpaceX, will see the first team of four Mars “settlers” blast off in 2023.

With the initial mission costing $6 billion, the plan is to have private financial backing, including a television reality show to help raise the funds for the maiden voyage in a decade’s time—and subsequent missions slated to follow every two years after that.

The long-term vision is to establish a thriving, permanent human colony on the Red Planet with new missions running through the middle of this century.


Follow Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy, on Twitter and Facebook.

Andrew Fazekas, aka The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who loves to share his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic News and is the national cosmic correspondent for Canada’s Weather Network TV channel, space columnist for CBC Radio network, and a consultant for the Canadian Space Agency. As a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Andrew has been observing the heavens from Montreal for over a quarter century and has never met a clear night sky he didn’t like.
  • Ben

    a life without weed? no thanks.

  • noname

    Its going down! Why is the US so infatuated with going off to mars! Prometheus is waiting to eat them, their hungry. So funny because the want a reality show which would make twice the money back that they spent sending them there. haha. ginnie pigs.

  • Sudhir Jain

    There should be one free seat on every trip for politicians.!!! To be compulsorily filled.

  • Bryan

    @Jay, if it gets us there, why question it. The end justifies the means, so to speak. Were there not cameras on the moon?

    Also, where do I sign up?

  • sakthi

    I want to go to mars how can I apply please anyone helpme my FB id name sakthi charm

  • BeRRyS GIrL


  • Carol Stevenson

    What will they do for Government to ruin/run their lives?Send Barak Obama and other politicians.Are y’all sending any seeds for them to test gardening abilities?Cactus grows in desert soil and is adible and usefull as medicine.

  • Duran Adam

    May there be an earlier program? Please give priority to Mr. Tayyip Erdoğan from Turkey..;)

  • J

    Anyone with just a little knowledge about Mars could not take any of this seriously in the context in which it is presented. In 2001, Mars had a PLANETARY wind storm which persisted for 3 months. Some winds gusted upto 500km/hr. Any half-educated dim-wit could see that tiny dust particles flying around at those speeds would amount to instant DEATH. The crew and everything they came with would disintegrate if hit with those winds. The only pheasable way to survive on Mars is to dig into it. Im afraid that four civilian school girls are’nt going to get to digging a km into the rock as soon as they get there. This guys talking about a world organised event funded by unicorns and fairytales. 1. The only thing the world has ever organised is war and the olympics. 2. Unicorns and fairytales are’nt real.

  • J

    Just a case of a couple of rich kids getting scared over something they heard or payed to know. So they’re getting itchy feet and want to jump ship. If the moon isn’t already colonized (which I doubt), then that would be the first logical place to start. Mars gravitational field is around 1/3rd that of earth, and the moon around an eighth. Experimentation of technologies fit for Mars would have better field results on the moon then that on earth. Atmospheric pressure on mars is virtually non-existant (around 1% of earth), the moon has none. So Radiological data would be near perfect in models for Mars. Not to mention lander technical data. Fukushima melted 4 nuclear reactors into the earth. Amounting to 400 tons of nuclear fuel, burning as hot as the SUN. As humans, we have NEVER been able to dig more than a dozen km into the earth. We can only speculate what will happen after it passes the 14 km mark. Temp is 357*F at 14km. The cores burn at 9000*F.

  • Mac12

    I want to go 😀

  • lollolokol,l


  • lollolokol,l


  • mike chura

    While its seemingly a step forward, to me, we have not mastered this planet at all. We have only managed to destroy much of it and there is apparently only greed and corruption here. Why wouldnt we focus on solving our problems here before we step out to another planet. We could fix this place if we really wanted to. We should not have ruined earth in the first place, only to step out to mars and then what? Do we really think that history will not repeat itself all over again? Everyone is all gaga over this. This is just a distraction from the obvious. We are at an end of our means here. Sending people to mars will end up being the same in the long run. Yay for the people who can get away though. Have a nice trip. Maybe I am being too pessimistic, but we have proven ourselves to be a form of cancer here. So off to mars we go. yay.

  • eye bee

    We should not judge those people who want to go. Maybe, they just want to leave a legacy. They want to be immortals by being the first human being to live in Mars. They can’t come back but at least their names will be written in our history. I also agree to the idea that why spend lots of money, effort and time on those kinds of space projects. Why not focus on solving the problems we have right now? We should not escape our responsibility as stewards of this planet.

  • martin mpingu

    how to register to mars 1projects

  • Mike

    Ever heard of cabin fever? Assuming that they even make it there, imagine a life sitting in 1 tiny room, day in day out, looking outside at a barren wasteland. Think of the things you do here on Earth to keep yourself from going insane from boredom. These people will kill each other in a matter of months when they realize that they threw away their lives.

  • hulk

    I want to go..send me now

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