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One-Way Ticket to Mars Attracts Global Attention

This artist illustration depicts the Mars One planned layout of a human colony on the Red Planet. Credit: Mars One
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.


  1. hulk
    United State
    April 13, 2015, 3:11 am

    I want to go..send me now

  2. Mike
    November 9, 2014, 10:22 pm

    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.

  3. martin mpingu
    October 2, 2014, 9:40 am

    how to register to mars 1projects

  4. eye bee
    May 17, 2014, 12:21 pm

    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.

  5. mike chura
    January 20, 2014, 7:36 pm

    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.

  6. lollolokol,l
    January 12, 2014, 5:50 am


  7. lollolokol,l
    January 11, 2014, 12:41 pm


  8. Mac12
    January 9, 2014, 5:13 pm

    I want to go 😀

  9. J
    January 9, 2014, 3:53 pm

    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.

  10. J
    January 9, 2014, 2:39 pm

    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.

  11. Duran Adam
    January 6, 2014, 3:39 pm

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

  12. Carol Stevenson
    December 18, 2013, 4:17 am

    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.

  13. BeRRyS GIrL
    December 11, 2013, 7:40 am


  14. sakthi
    November 25, 2013, 1:17 pm

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

  15. Bryan
    United States
    November 6, 2013, 11:16 am

    @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?

  16. Sudhir Jain
    November 2, 2013, 4:48 am

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

  17. noname
    October 1, 2013, 8:51 pm

    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.

  18. Ricky travia
    September 24, 2013, 10:44 pm

    I am keen to go put me in the rocket there now

  19. rymu06
    North Carolina, USA
    September 20, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Honestly, this is a brave endeavor on part of the volunteers. Knowing the risks, they still want to pave the way to the stars. Let’s try a little optimism and maybe some constructive criticism. For instance, have they thought of turning this selection process via teams into a reality show in order to help fund the project? Show them really competing against each other, vying for the top 24 spots, much like the show Survivor? And what about food consumption on the way there, as well as the oxygen supply? I truly believe there is a good chance of survival for the team if these issues are thoroughly hammered out in advance. And I hope they succeed, I always dreamed of going into space, so perhaps if the colony thrives there could be the possibility of moving there in my elder years. 🙂

  20. tremujin
    September 17, 2013, 7:25 pm

    @Ben Man They are going to be growing their own food using hydroponics don’t know if fish would survive the trip but I could see that as the ideal place for aquaponics (of course they have all the essential materials). Just smuggle some seeds up in your space suit and/or your carry on your set. Got some consumables and can make clothes/rope/paper etc.

  21. watson
    September 17, 2013, 11:42 am

    the just going to join the red faction and rebel against us

  22. Ken
    New Mexico, USA
    September 16, 2013, 2:06 pm

    They accepted applications from 18 to 80 years old, but I don’t see that they are considering anyone under 60 in some of their reviews. I for one would be 79 at launch date (Astronaut John Glenn was 77 when he last went into space, and set records, so it isn’t age that counts,it is condition. Some of my ancestors have lived over 100 of age. They are going to need some of us older people to keep the younger testosterone driven young folks focused on the mission.

  23. brownie
    berwick pennsylvania
    September 16, 2013, 5:09 am

    damn. I wish I could do this. possibly terraforming a new planet would be a great step on the evolutionary ladder for humankind. but I have to ask, if people do go to mars, will they become martians? would we then consider them aliens? that would be cool 🙂 “hey dudes! my cousins an alien” ha I can see it now.

  24. Vernon Cooke
    Hartwell, GA
    September 14, 2013, 9:46 pm

    Anyone interested should know what they are getting into. Do you like to be confined to a small space for the rest of their life. One of the basis of selection should be how much people are aware of what they are getting into. Had they had any similar experiences in life where they have been confined to a small space a long time. Example: Prisons

  25. Lorna Watt
    Stirling Scotland
    September 14, 2013, 4:32 pm

    Can’t believe people actually thout of this. A 1 way ticket to mars
    Come on get real, let’s go die on mars omg really?

  26. Mary Lee
    Bay St. Louis, MS
    September 14, 2013, 3:06 am

    Oh, too bad! What a possibility! I’m sorry I am too old at 68 to get in on it!

  27. KC
    Dieing on Mars
    September 13, 2013, 7:41 pm

    Basically your talking about dieing on Mars. Suicide.

  28. Practical Reasons
    September 13, 2013, 4:29 pm

    There is a very practical reason to colonize mars, or otherwise create an off-earth human colony (i.e. space station, a moon base, etc): ensuring the survival of our species. Think about it. We are vulnerable to any one of many potential extinction events. Unless we create one or more off-world colonies, the odds of human extinction is 100% Life on mars would be harsh and difficult, but we would adapt. But more importantly, it is essential to our survival as a species, something I personally place a high value on, that we establish a sustainable colony on Mars (or the moon, a large space station, etc).

    It baffles me that more people don’t see the urgency and importance of efforts like Mars One.

  29. archsage53
    September 13, 2013, 10:15 am

    @Balusubramamiam Easier and better to just leave everyone here and start a great place on Mars.

  30. chris
    September 13, 2013, 9:43 am

    id like to do this but knowing that its a one way trip i wouldnt want to go because i would never see my family again

  31. Santa
    September 13, 2013, 12:45 am

    It seems like earth is nearing to an end & scientists have got some clues which is why they’re planning to colonize on Mars. May be an asteroid named 99942 Apophis will hit our earth by 2023.

  32. abhinav
    September 12, 2013, 11:03 pm

    i would suggest moon for 6 months 2 way … mars no way 🙂

  33. Jay
    September 12, 2013, 10:47 pm

    I can’t grok any of this nonsense. reality T.V.? what a distorted way for humankind to leap into the future.

  34. Albert
    September 12, 2013, 10:20 pm

    life finds a way. I am sure at least one person will survive.
    but I am sure it will be a man.

  35. Ian
    September 12, 2013, 8:26 pm

    So, the first club to open for business would in fact be a Mars Bar.

  36. Ben
    New Zealand
    September 11, 2013, 11:32 pm

    a life without weed? no thanks.

  37. kim
    united states
    September 11, 2013, 9:16 am


  38. badfish
    September 11, 2013, 8:46 am

    Just want to point out that a number of experts have already said that the chance of this actually coming to fruition is less than 1% so good luck with that.

  39. Korhal Tarsonis
    Iwatodai Dorms
    September 11, 2013, 8:36 am

    … This sounds like the Number 9 Game (Nonary Game). Zero Escape :P, Now we must wait for a disease to destroy the human race 😀

  40. Randall
    earth, duh
    September 10, 2013, 11:28 pm

    Ok… but why do we want a colony on Mars?

  41. Danny
    September 10, 2013, 1:36 pm

    sxx dont you mean 24.39.35 hours a day and 668.5921 days a year. mars basically has noe weeks, hours and years are based on rotational orbit. you cant really account for weeks. “BUT I GET WHAT YOU WERE SAYING”

  42. Thomas Moxley
    September 10, 2013, 1:16 pm

    bleep-bloop red light yellow light green light –Go
    That’s gonna take some mercury kahones and some continued focus.

  43. Ginny
    Nashville, TN
    September 10, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Sounds so intriguing, but a one way ticket also is permanent. I hope to live to see it happen.

  44. LaFemme
    September 10, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Go live in the middle of Australia. Exactly the same but he’s oxygen. Closer to a hospital if stuff goes bad too.

  45. Balusubramamiam
    September 10, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Planet Mars – No trees, No drinking water, No rain, No oxygen, No food, No elections, No nothing. Most ideal place to send and GET RID of ALL the EVIL MINDED, CORRUPT, UNSCRUPULOUS POLITICIANS AND THE GOONDAS. OUR WORLD will truly be a great place to live, isn’t it?.

  46. Haywire
    United States
    September 10, 2013, 12:41 pm

    I would love the opportunity too bad I just found out about it

  47. seshadri
    September 10, 2013, 12:26 pm

    Many People are under utter poverty , lack of basic amenities, no medical facilities here on mother earth, we would spend so much on extra terristrial places to conquer. Taking with us hatred, divisions of all kinds to contaminate if we colonise other places like Mars. Lets spend for better world we live in and spread love here first.

  48. sxx
    September 10, 2013, 11:51 am

    life on mars would be miserable.No trees,no running water,no rain,no food,oxygen masks/radiation suits on 24/7…

  49. winsion
    kuching,sarawak malaysia
    September 10, 2013, 11:07 am

    i would like to learn more about mars , & explore even feather on red planet ext`