April 23, 2013, 6:38 AM —
Image credit: Flickr/SONIA BELVISO
Even before the Mars One project announced on Monday that it would begin accepting applications from aspiring Martians, nearly 40,000 people had applied for the right to be among the first to populate the Red Planet.
Or to be cast in a long-running reality television show, because that's how Mars One intends to finance the project, in which a small group of people will be chosen to become the first colonists on Mars. Organizers are aiming for a 2023 landing -- a mere 10 years from now.
Any sensible candidate knows they'd be leaving behind a lush (if troubled) planet for a demonstrably barren nearby planet that simply isn't habitable outside of an artificial living space.
In other words, Mars is like the driest desert on Earth -- with no oxygen! And mostly no life!
But perhaps nobody has expressed this more, um, drolly than Mars One Chief Medical Officer Norbert Kraft, who NPR quotes thusly:
"If somebody's an outdoors person who says, 'I need my mountains, I need to smell the flowers,' then it's not the mission for him."