Mars One, the ambitious (some might say crazy) project that aims to make the red planet's colonization into a successful reality TV show, will begin accepting video submissions for its first batch of astronauts in July. In an attempt to separate serious candidates from dreamers, the company plans to institute an entry fee that will vary depending on your native country. It's reportedly going to top off at $25 though, so hopefuls won't need to take out a second mortgage to plot out their departure from Earth. The mandatory fee is also a means for Mars One to secure funding for the actual trip and Mars colony buildout.
There's no going back
Speaking to Space.com, co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp said, "we expect a million applications with one-minute videos," adding that the hope is some of those submissions will "go viral." Mars One has already been met with 10,000 emails from interested parties, but it remains to be seen how many of those will translate into serious contenders. And considering the voyage is a one-way trip — you read that right, Mars One won't be providing anyone with a ride back home — it's certainly a dramatic decision. Those 18 or older who are tired of the confines of our current planet will have 60 seconds to plead their case (and qualifications, if such a thing exists in this scenario).
Mars One aims to have 24 astronauts assembled by 2015, after which it will put each of them through seven long years of rigorous training. The company's best guess puts the initial trip cost at around $8 billion — a sum that accounts for both the colony's creation and the 210-day flight the lucky winners will have to contend with. If everything somehow works out according to plan, the arrival date is currently penciled info as April 24th, 2023. You've got a few months yet before you'll need to hit the record button, so head over to Space.com for more on the Mars expedition. Mars One will be holding a press event in New York City next week where we expect to learn further details.