Not-for-profit Netherlands organization, Mars One, sent out a casting call last Monday for any and all volunteers for a decades long trip to Mars. Participants will also star in the consequent reality tv show, "Stars on a Planet." Mars One is looking for truly anyone: no prior experience as an astronaut or a degree in science required. Simply make a video stating why you should be shipped to Mars, and send it in. Great stuff, right?
As of so far, the organization has received over 10,000 entries, from out of which the board of directors hopes to select 24 lucky [or unlucky depending how you see it] individuals. Mars One hopes to launch the first crew of four by 2023, with subsequent launches of four man teams every two years after.
Money could be a problem though. Sending stuff into space has never exactly been cheap, much less getting humanity to Mars. Director and co-founder Bas Landsorp says he hopes the $25 application fee will waive some of that cost, though he notes that there is still much more fundraising to do. The accounting department estimates that final costs will be upwards of $6 billion. [sounds great. I'll send in the billion I found in the gutter the other day.]
Props to private organizations [SpaceOne included] for showing explorative initiative.