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.