Bas Lansdorp, the co-founder of Mars One, believes there are at least 500,000 people on Earth who’d like a one-way ticket to Mars. He might be right. Three days ago, his company opened up applications for its first project, which aims to send four people to Mars in 2023 as a “permanent human settlement,” and already 20,000 people have thrown their names into the hat. Don’t they know they’re all going to go crazy and kill each other?
Here’s what’s required for Round 1:
The online application consists of general information about the applicant, a motivational letter, a resume and a one minute video in which the applicant answers some given questions and explains why he or she should be among the first humans who set foot on Mars. At this stage the potential candidates can submit their application in one of the 11 most used languages on Internet: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Indonesian, Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Korean.
Here’s the list of qualifications the company’s looking for. They include resiliency (“you are at your best when things are at their worst” — yyyyyyep), adaptability, and ability to trust. (They say that means, “You trust in yourself and maintain trust in others.” But it possibly also means “trust that you’re not going to die immediately or in some terribly Hobbesian way alone on a distant planet.”) You also have to pay $38.
Eventually, the people selected will have to go through a reality-TV-style “national selectional round” and a final international round “that will be broadcasted throughout the world.” Applicants have the choice right now of making the video portion of their applications public, and we’re pretty sure that anyone who’s too shy to do that isn’t going to make it far in this contest. So check these videos out: One of these people could be flying to Mars in a decade. Let’s take bets on who eats who!