More than 200,000 apply for one-way Mars trip

More than 200,000 people from 140 countries have applied to go to Mars and never return, the group behind an ambitious venture to colonise the inhospitable red planet has said.

Bas Lansdorp, a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur, plans to set up a permanent base on Mars in a mission he hopes will take off in 2022 if he can find the necessary $6bn (€4.5bn).

One in four of the 202,586 applicants for the one-way trip are Americans, said Mars One, the non- profit group which initiated its hunt for “would-be Mars settlers” in April. There are also hopefuls from India (10%), China (6%), and Brazil (5%), among other countries.

By 2015, Mars One expects to put up to 10 four-member teams through intensive training, with the first of those teams reaching Mars in 2023. If they survive the trip, the teams will have to deal with -55C temperatures in a desert-like atmosphere. They will also have to consent to being observed back on Earth as stars of a reality TV show.

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