Mars colony project 2023: Astronaut recruitment to begin in July

4/22/2013
Mars colony project 2023 seems to be on track as astronauts’ recruitment set to begin in July. Mars One, a non- profit organization that had once made headlines by announcing in 2010 that they have plans to found the first off planet colony on Mars by 2023. The Dutch Space travel agency is planning to land four astronauts on the Red Planet in 2023 and is expected to start searching astronauts for the project by this summer.

The company, based in Netherlands, has announced that it will accept application videos during the summer in between now and July this year and anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to apply. The company, however, is charging $25 (depending on applicant’s location) to persuade against candidates who are not serious about the project. The entry fee is expected to fund the company with millions of dollars.

“We expect a million applications with 1-minute videos, and hopefully some of those videos will go viral,” co-founder and chief executive officer of Mars One,  Bas Lansdorp told SPACE.com on April 10. He was there in London on that day to speak to the British Interplanetary Society (BIS).

The company claimed that it already has 45,000 people on their mailing list and has received more than 10,000 emails from people interested in going to Mars. The company said that they hope to have 24 astronauts, organized into six teams of four people by the end of July 2015. Then the selected four teams will under go seven years of training including three months of stay in a replica of the Mars colony.

“We will give them all the most stressful situations,” Lansdorp said at the British Interplanetary Society.

The training will also include a 40-minute communications delay to replicate the time lag between Earth and Mars due to the distance.

“We will always have about 10 groups [of four] in training, so if one group drops out, there will be replacement crews,” said Lansdorp.

Mars One calculates approximately that they need $6 billion to carry out the project of sending first four astronauts to Mars. This money will be used for developing the landing systems, habitats, Mars Transit Vehicle (MTV), rovers, solar arrays and other technologies related to the colony, along with the expenditure of the crew’s journey from Earth.

The company plans to set up a realty show to choose candidates who get to go to Mars with the help of voting system. The audience of the show will choose the candidate from among the pool of contestants chosen by the Mars One’s experts.

“We can prove to the broadcasters that there is real demand and interest, and we will start negotiations after the [astronaut] selection procedure begins,” Lansdorp said.

The company has announced the travel date to Mars to be on April 24th, 2023 and the company however, claimed that it will be a one way trip to Mars and once gone will not find any way to return back to Earth.
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