78,000 People Applied Within Two Weeks to Colonize Mars
The application period to become a Mars settler from 2023 on was officially started on April 22, and in the following two weeks more than seventy-eight thousand people have applied to the Mars One astronaut selection program, the company said.
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Bas Lansdorp, Mars One Co-Founder and CEO said: "With seventy-eight thousand applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history. These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants."
Mars One announced that they received applications for the one-way trip to Mars from over 120 countries. Most applications come from USA (17324), followed by China (10241), United Kingdom (3581), Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and India.
"Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I'm proud that this is exactly what we see happening," Lansdorp said.
The Mars One organization hopes to finance the enormous endeavor by making it a huge global media event comparable to the Olympic Games that can be commercialized in a similar fashion. One could easily imagine that an automaker like Volkswagen would become the main sponsor of the Mars rovers needed to construct and service the base on the Red Planet, putting the famous Audi slogan "Vorsprung durch Technik" in a whole new context. Apparel brands would be a natural fit to feature on the Mars suits of the first colonists, and would in turn finance the development and production of this vital equipment.
Another aspect is the social networking character of the application and selection process. As part of the application every applicant is required to explain his/her motivation behind their decision go to Mars in an one minute video. Many applicants are choosing to publish this video on the Mars One website, where it can also gather likes. These are openly accessible on applicants.mars-one.com.
"Applicants we have received come from a very wide range of personalities, professions and ages. This is significant because what we are looking for is not restricted to a particular background. From Round 1 we will take forward the most committed, creative, resilient and motivated applicants," said Dr. Norbert Kraft, Mars One Chief Medical Officer.
The Mars One online application forms are open for a period of 19 weeks, until August 31st 2013. From all the applicants in Round 1, regional reviewers will select around 50-100 candidates for Round 2 in each of the 300 geographic regions in the world that Mars One has identified.
Four rounds make the selection process, which will come to an end in 2015; Mars One will then employ 28-40 candidates, who will train for around 7 years. Finally an audience vote will elect one of groups in training to be the envoys of humanity to Mars.