Non-profit group Mars One has announced the launch of its astronaut selection program. The search has begun for the first humans to set foot on Mars and make it their home, which begins with accepting online submissions running until 31st August 2013.
This will be the first of four rounds that will form the Mars One selection procedure, with people selected from this initial phase going through three subsequent rounds of further training. And as Mars One received 10,000 messages from prospective applicants last year from over 100 countries (when they weren't even accepting applications), it's fair to say they're expecting a huge amount of interest this time around.
“We are very excited about launching the selection program. Round One is where we open the doors to Mars for everyone on Earth. This is an international mission and it is very important for the project that anyone anywhere can ask themselves: Do I want this? Am I ready for this? If the answer is yes then we want to hear from you,” said Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars One.
To help fund the $6 billion mission, and to weed out those who aren't serious about the program, applicants are required to pay a fee application fee of $38 (about £25). No academic or professional background is considered a prerequisite. Just make sure you have some common sense (don't take your helmet off, for example).
Beyond the four rounds, in the seven-year period leading up to the flight to Mars, all the potential settlers will be taught the skills needed for everything from the journey to-and living on the red planet. Throughout this time, out of the 24-40 who have been fully trained for the trip, the first astronauts will be selected by an audience vote.
"In a 1000 years, everyone on Earth will still remember who the first humans on Mars were, just like Neil Armstrong has etched in our memories forever. This makes the selection of the first crew to a different planet a very important election; in my opinion more important than most elections. We hope the whole world will join Mars One in our democratic search of the envoys of mankind to Mars, " Lansdorp said.
Source: Mars One