Mars One announced that it will begin searching for its first Mars colonists in July 2013.
The company plans to establish the first colony on Mars in 2023. Mars One will televise a two-year search for the initial four astronauts. According to Space.com, Mars One “will begin accepting application videos in July, charging a fee to weed out folks who aren’t serious about their candidacy.” The maximum fee will reportedly be $25, but will vary by country.
Mars One co-founder and chief executive officer Bas Lansdorp told Space.com that he expects “a million applications with 1-minute videos, and hopefully some of those videos will go viral.” The company reports that, although applications are not being accepted yet, 10,000 people have already expressed interest in becoming a Mars One astronaut.
The number of astronaut candidates will be narrowed to twenty-four by July 2015. These individuals will be grouped into six teams of four people. These teams will then go through seven years of training. And once Mars One selects the final candidates, a global audience will select the four astronauts who will go to Mars. The entire process from astronaut selection to colonization will be televised as an interplanetary reality show. The company hopes that television revenues will help fund the $6 billion required to send the first four colonists to Mars.
Anyone at least eighteen years of age from any country is invited to submit a video to Mars One explaining why he or she would make a good Mars colonist. But applicants should keep in mind that this is a one-way mission. The colonists are moving to Mars permanently.