Huge numbers of people on Earth are keen to leave the planet forever and seek a new life homesteading on Mars.
About 78,000 people have applied to become Red Planet colonists with the nonprofit organization Mars One since its application process opened on April 22, officials announced Tuesday. Mars One aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent colony, with more astronauts arriving every two years thereafter.
“With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history,” Mars One Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. “These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.”
Mars One estimates that landing four settlers on Mars in 2023 will cost about $6 billion. The Netherlands-based organization plans to pay most of the bills by staging a global reality-TV event, with cameras documenting all phases of the mission from astronaut selection to the colonists’ first years on the Red Planet.
The application process extends until Aug. 31. Anyone at least 18 years of age can apply by submitting to the Mars One website a 1-minute video explaining his or her motivation to become a Red Planet settler. (You can also watch other applicants’ videos at the site.)
Mars One charges an application fee, which ranges from $5 to $75 depending on the wealth of the applicant’s home country. United States citizens pay $38, Lansdorp said.