Tens of thousands sign up for Dutch mission to Mars

The Dutch company which claims to be planning to establish a base on Mars said on Wednesday 78,000 people have so far applied to join the mission.

The Mars One group aims to establish a colony on Mars in 2023 and has appealed for volunteers to make the one-way journey.

‘We are on target to achieve our target of 500,000 applications,’ spokesman and company founder Bas Lansdorp said. The deadline for applications is August 31.

Many of the applications, in the form of a one-minute video clip, can be seen on the Mars One website. Most applications have come from the US, followed by China and Britain.

The company says the applications will be whittled down to a shortlist of 28 to 40 in 2014. The winners will then undergo a seven-year training programme and the final team will be chosen by public vote.

Despite much scepticism, Mars One says it has developed a realistic road map and financing plan for the project based on existing technologies and that the mission is perfectly feasible. Much of the funding would apparently come from the broadcast rights.

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