Tens of thousands of people are hoping to someday pack up and move: to the planet Mars.
the nonprofit group Mars One has received 78,000 applications from people who want to become colonists on the Red Planet, when interplanetary travel becomes a reality.
"With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history," Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp said.
"These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.''
Mars One, which kicked off the application process last month, hopes to land four "homesteaders'' on Mars in 2023 with the idea of beginning a permanent colony.
The projected cost — a whopping $6 billion — would be paid for with profits of a global reality-TV event, Space.com says.
In 2015, Mars One will choose up to 40 candidates from its pool of applicants. They will train for a one-way Mars flight for seven years, with four ultimately being tapped to make the trip.
The applicants hail from 120 countries, with the United States leading the pack with 17,324 Mars hopefuls. The United States is followed by China with 10,241, and the United Kingdom with 3,581.
Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, and India round 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," Lansdorp said.
"I'm proud that this is exactly what we see happening."
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