Want to be a space pioneer? Not much tying you to planet Earth? Apply today and blast off for Mars! Yes, you really could be one of the first humans to set foot on the Red Planet, as Mars One is genuinely looking for new astronauts, and anyone anywhere can apply. Where do I sign up?
The non-profit Netherlands-based Mars One is seeking a legion of applicants; anyone who fits the pretty basic requirements is wanted. The idea is that it'll begin the selection process in the first half of this year, with contestants potential astronauts whittled down into at least six teams of four, through a combination of votes from 'a global televised programme' and a team of experts. Big Brother with a purpose, then, basically. Entrants will need:
"A deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. They must be resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful."
Of course, this is a one-way trip, so you'll also need either a deep loathing of Earth, or have nothing to live for here. After at least eight years of training, only one of the six teams will make it, blasting off from our humble rock towards the Red Planet in September 2022. Subsequent four-man teams will be sent at two-year intervals to join the deep-space survivors.
The interesting thing is that apparently Mars One will start hurling equipment, supplies, and rovers to Mars in 2016, so I guess we'll see whether the whole plan really comes together then.