No really. Mars One, a Dutch non-profit organisation that hopes to fund the trip and everything involved by making the “biggest media event,” that's ever existed, is looking for a team of individuals to begin the colonisation of Mars, as soon as 2023.
The selection process is said to be vigorous, with applicants expected to be resilient and able to continue being productive under difficult conditions. You would have an “indomitable spirit and a “can do attitude.” You'll also need to be adaptable and curious, with a high ability to trust and a creative mind. The only age restrictions are that you must be over 18. Training for the missions is expected to be in the region of eight years, so if you sign up for this one, expect to be much older by the time you reach the surface of Mars.
Unfortunately, if you are selected, you won't be coming back. This gets over one of the biggest hurdles with manned missions anywhere, since the fuel required to return is huge – not as much as getting off the ground when leaving Earth, but still, considerable.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4tgkyUBkbY']
The schedule for this mission involves several preparatory missions, including the launching of a communications satellite in 2016, followed by an exploratory rover in 2018 to find the best location for the settlement. Supplies will then be sent in 2020, allowing the Rover to begin building the outpost. The settlers will leave in 2022, arriving in 2023.
All of this sounds impressive, but surely it will require billions of pounds? Indeed it will and that money won't be coming from governments, with their “political mumbo jump,” as the informative video explains. The money will come from private investment and from creating the world's biggest media event. Big Brother and similar shows will be small fry in comparison. Apparently.
KitGuru Says: These are very lofty claims and something that seems far more ambitious than what government space agencies are pushing for at the moment. This makes me feel a bit sceptical, but I want it to be true. 10 years to see men on Mars? That'd be awesome.