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In two weeks, Mars One receives over 78,000 applications for one-way trip to Mars


May 8, 2013

Mars One has received over 78,000 applications from people wanting to be the first to settle another planet

Mars One has received over 78,000 applications from people wanting to be the first to settle another planet

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Despite the one-way nature of the trip, it seems there’s no shortage of people willing to pack their bags and experience life on Mars. Just two weeks after putting out the call for potential Mars settlers, Mars One had received over 78,000 applications from people in over 120 countries. With the application period set to last 19 weeks, the Mars One selection committees face a daunting task in whittling the numbers down to the four individuals that will ultimately make the journey that is planned for September 2022.

The USA was far and away the source of the greatest number of applicants with 17,324 willing to leave the land of the free behind for a taste of the Red Planet. It was followed by China with 10,241 and the UK a distant third with 3,581. Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and India rounded out the top 10.

“Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I’m proud that this is exactly what we see happening,” said Mars One Co-Founder and CEO, Bas Lansdorp.

The online application process will continue until August 31st 2013, when Mars One hopes to have attracted half a million applicants, who are all required to submit a one-minute video explaining their reasons for wanting to go to Mars. Applicants can choose to make their videos public on the Mars One applicant website along with a brief profile.

While the public can rate the applicants, the final decision on who makes it through to round two will be made by “Mars One experts.” The company says, “no particular academic or professional background in considered a prerequisite for selection,” however, resilience, adaptability, curiosity, the ability to trust others, and creativity/resourcefulness are all considered compulsory character traits.

Round two will see regional reviewers selecting 50 to 100 candidates from each of the 300 geographic regions identified by Mars One. The 28 to 40 applicants who manage to make it past round four, which is due to conclude in 2015, will then undergo seven years of training to give them the skills required not only for establishing a settlement on Mars, but also for the seven-month journey there.

So if you’re interested, there’s still plenty of time to get your application in via the source link below. But be aware, applicants are required to pay an administration fee. In an effort to make the program accessible to people from all nations, the fee will vary across nations according to their gross domestic product (GDP).

Source: Mars One

Update (May 8, 2013): The article originally stated that payment of the administration fee was required after the second round. This was an error. The fee is required up front when submitting the initial application. We apologize for any misunderstanding.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

"Round two will see regional reviewers selecting 50 to 100 candidates from each of the 300 geographic regions identified by Mars One. At this point, applicants will be required to pay an administration fee. "

I just made an account on the mars one website and it seems they want you to pay a $33 USD admin fee before you can do anything at all with the account.

This seems more and more like a scam to me.

Hugh Mcbroom

That's 78,000 dumb stupid people. With the technology available today they won't get there alive. A waste of time, it'll happen in the future but not the near future. I'm 56 and it won't happen in my lifetime.

Richard Unger

Basically, there are 78,000 people who are prepared to pay for the privilege of committing suicide, either on the way to Mars, if anything goes wrong, or when their oxygen or food runs out at their base camp.

These are desperate people (this reminds me of young men joining the American military, but at least there is a chance that they might make it back home)

David Clarke

Wow - some early morning Negative Nancies here. The first pioneers faced terrible odds and many hardships, but we'd never advance without people willing to take that uncertain but exciting step forward.

As to the application fee - per person it's not much money (for the employed), and these folks will need more funds than they probably currently have - I'm supposing here of course - and this is one way to get it. I think you two first posters need to try to think in more positive ways. You clearly are NOT cut out to engage in this type of activity, so don't worry and complain so much. Even if it's a bad deal or a scan, it's not going to affect you.

Meanwhile, the rest of us who don't get to go will continue to follow this story with great interest.


I think its a great idea but not enough. Why just four people? To those who say we dont have the tech to survive on Mars are wrong. We have more than enough tech to go and live there, its just going to take planning, and making sure there are multiple options for food, water, atmosphere etc, that can be found or made on Mars. Build enough systems to cover the means to live, and have back up systems, and ways to create or fix systems around so people there can use them, its not that hard. Its not like a camping trip where you pack what you think you will need and dont plan. Plan like you are going to stay there, and without outside assistance.


I wish Gizmag would stop reporting on this scam. It's unrealistic and the plan was stolen word for word from a book written in 2010. This is a scam at it's finest - Make outrageous promises, ask for money to participate, with no actual item of value in exchange, and when the scheme starts to crumble, say "Oops sorry, we couldn't follow though." You can say "Sayoonara" to the $2.5 million they've already made from, literally, a website with some pictures on it.


It sounds like the people that look down on this project are not familiar with the current technology status of space systems. We have the technology (granted, not the integrated systems) TODAY to go to Mars. We had better propulsion systems back in the early 70s (NERVA). So don't any of you dare speak of something in which you hold no merit and cannot add value. It's because of negative Nancy boys (rather a lack of leadership and a spine in congress really) such as yourselves that we are stuck in this quandary of space exploration. Please keep your negative comments to yourself. Although, I do call into question the final price for one mission, at 6B, it's far more likely to cost 2 to 3 times as much, but it's still possible.

Gwyn Rosaire

I can't help but wonder how many people would actually load up and then how many would get cold feet before they were even a week out.

78,000 x $33= $2,574,000

Do the Math....


Griffin, $2,574,000 is a drop in the bucket to final costs on an endeavor such as this. DOSb00t, couldn't agree with you more I find it quite intriguing myself and there's way too much negativity. As for getting people to fully commit, people blow themselves up for a religious war, without a doubt someone will go to Mars for exploration.


Just to clarify, i am fully aware of our current technology and our capacity to make a colony on mars but i am being realistic, how is this company going to get the literally billions of dollars when they do not have a sound business plan?

And to get every one to pay a $33 fee before they can do anything at all makes me think they are just out to make a quick buck. I am a massive sci fi fan who really wish's this thing was real but there are way to many black holes in this companies planning for me to think so.

Hugh Mcbroom

one of those chairs and that TV and i wouldn't care if I'm on mars or not.


I don't think it's a scam. I don't think it's likely to work, either — it'd be much more realistic if they'd chosen the Moon rather than Mars — but it might work, and that's enough to make it worth a try.

And yes, they're making money of the application fees. Why shouldn't they? Anybody who can't come up with $33 (or less, in other countries) is not anywhere even close to considering the merest possibility of being even passably serious about abandoning their lives and moving to Mars. Plus, if Mars One is going to have any chance at all of pulling this off, they need the dough.

Finally, to those claiming they don't have a viable business plan: have you actually studied their business plan? I haven't, but I know about it general terms (rake in Olympics-level marketing deals on the video streams leading up to, during, and after the landing), and it doesn't seem impossible to me.

Joe Strout

@Richard Unger was the technology in 1969 more advanced, oh wait there was no technology at all, they know the risks but they want to be remembered as the first people that step on Mars Although, it will be more useful to make some farms on the moon first

Деян Димов

When you make your estimates on how much it will cost stop using government program costs. I like NERVA but for getting to Mars it is not the best engine however it could be used to make the landing and then provide years of electricity and heat. Staying alive in space is easy it takes greater structural integrity to contain a liter of Coca-cola than it does to hold a breathable atmosphere. The same tank of water that provides shielding from the toxic radiation from the sun during solar storms will provide oxygen and food. (An emergency oxygen reserve and a shielded sample of the algae should be taken) cosmic rays can be deflected by a electromagnetic field. All the problems have been solved. If the plan is taken from a book published in 2010 how does that prove it to be a bad plan? The soviet Cosmonaut core had a plan for going to Mars using three Mir modules.


Mars, what a lonely place to die from starvation or a lack of oxygen. They had better take a gun with them to make it quick; that is, if this whole thing is more then just a scam...


I sent in my request for a one way trip, on the return only. No response.

Robert Walther

re; JAT

What makes you believe that they would suffer from lack of oxygen or food?


Just to clarify, Mars One expects 500,000 applications (x $33 = $16,500,000). Highly suspicious to any skeptic.

But the real issue is that THERE'S VIRTUALLY NO SCIENCE TO BE ACHIEVED by human presence on any planet within our (current) reach that cannot be achieved by human presence right here on and around Earth. Until we discover a revolutionary means of space travel — which, by the way, is what any true astro-wanabees would be pursuing — the only value we'll receive from expenditures on such foolhardy forays will be the thrill of foolhardy forays. Certainly not science.

Until we can exit our solar neighborhood in the blink of an eye, manned interplanetary travel is no more than a very pricey carnival ride. And we all know what P.T. Barnum is credited with saying.

["There's a sucker born every minute" was actually spoken by David Hannum, who was criticizing both Barnum and his customers]

Fritz Menzel

I was thinking this was really sweet until i read about them charging a fee for applicants. Then like most people reading this the red flags started coming up.

Sure, they do need the money if they are going to go to mars so its not like the idea that they need the money isn't plausible, its more like most of us can see this thing 5-10 years down the road closing down with the explanation that it just isn't possible due to unforeseen blah blah blah and them pocketing the money, and it will be totally legal for them to do so as far as i can see.

So i think most people are completely justified in being skeptical.

I hope they eventually go through with it though.


@slowburn - I never said it was a bad plan, and not because of the book. The book I cited was actually written by and in collaboration with scientists in the related fields and astronauts. It was supposed to lay out the blueprint for a hypothetical mission to Mars. Lets ignore that the conclusion was that the mission would take decades to complete and could not be done without significant new technologies.

The fact remains, that this company with no real pedigree, no real product, no real financial backing, has come out of a dark hole somewhere, to achieve one of the greatest feats in the history of Mankind,and they are asking for applicants (with a fee) before virtually ANY work has been done, aside from lifting a theory from a book, ignoring the limitations of that theory, and getting a freelance designer to work up some sketches.

Get real people. We should be hopeful, but this is not the way a legitimate company goes about legitimate business, look at Virgin Galactic and Space X.

@Joe Stout - Yeah, and just because someone CAN come up with a mere $33 doesn't mean they are at all serious. How much does it cost for a legitimate ride in space these days? Thats what you charge if you are serious about this business, not a low fee misguided dreamers can easily afford to lose, without much sleep.

Oh, wait a second, this is a non-profit, so your $33 is a donation? Why are so many people buying into this?

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