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200,000 Apply: Mars Colony Plan Has Thousands Ready to Live in Space

By Morgan Chilson   |   Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 06:03 PM

About 200,000 people have applied to colonize Mars should a Dutch company be able to make a human settlement happen, showing there’s no shortage of adventurous spirits willing to travel far, far away.

The Mars One Foundation said this week that the organization is moving ahead with an unmanned mission launch in 2018 that would use a robotic lander and a communications satellite.

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It would be 2025 or later before the colony could be established, and even then a lot of issues that are up in the air have to be settled, CNN said. Still, 200,000 people are applying to move to Mars.

The Mars One website is encouraging people to take part in the crowdfunding campaign going to make that necessary first step of an unmanned mission in a few years. So far, more than $19,000 of the $400,000 goal has been raised.

The step is critical to planting people on the Red Planet because of the technology involved. The probe that will land on Mars will have a video camera and robotic arm, along with experiments that will focus on producing water on the planet.

“The highest priority is to actually have liquid water on Mars," Bas Lansdorf, CEO of Mars One, told CNN.

A Mars One news release identified lead suppliers for the unmanned mission as Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

“This will be the first private mission to Mars and Lockheed Martin is very excited to have been contracted by Mars One,” Lockheed civil space chief engineer Ed Sedivy said in the release. “This is an ambitious project and we’re already working on the mission concept study, starting with the proven design of Phoenix. Having managed the Phoenix spacecraft development, I can tell you, landing on Mars is challenging and a thrill and this is going to be a very exciting mission.”

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