Some 78,000 applicants have flooded a non-profit's offer to live on Mars
and star in a reality TV show about the process in 2022.
The Netherlands-based nonprofit group Mars One is sponsoring the venture.
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"With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history," Mars One CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said. "These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants."
In addition to relying on private donations, the estimated $6 billion required for the Mars One colony project
will be partially financed by the reality TV show.
Actor Gary Busey has reportedly auditioned for the maiden voyage, after being booted from Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."
The applicants came from
120 countries, including 17,324 from the United States and 10,241 from China, the Business Insider reported. Each applicant, depending on where he or she lived, had to pay between $5 to $75 to apply.
For the first wave of red planet colonists, there will be no return voyage.
"Once on Mars, there is no means to return to Earth," the Mars One website states.
In the run-up to the maiden voyage, which is scheduled to take place in 2022, there will be a weeding out process similar to those in reality TV shows like "Survivor" in which the audience decides who should who should be chosen.
Only a small number of the 78,000 applicants will be able to partake in the journey. By 2015, Mars One hopes to narrow down the pool to 28 to 40 candidates. From there, groups of four will compete to become the first crew to make the initial journey.
Once the final candidates are selected, the four will undergo rigorous astronaut training over the course of eight years before the 2022 launch.
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Camera crews stationed throughout the space station will document every phase of the Mars mission.
Following the initial mission, Mars One says it plans to land additional astronauts on the red planet every two years with the goal of establishing a permanent colony.
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