August 12, 2013, 11:53 AM —
Image credit: Flickr/JASONB42882
The number of applicants for the planned 2022 Mars One (as in one-way) expedition has more than doubled in the past four months and now exceeds 100,000.
That's up from nearly 40,000 in mid-April, when we last checked in on the project.
What they're signing up for is a chance to be one of four humans to leave Earth in 2022 and arrive (hopefully) on Mars in 2023, where they will live for the rest of their lives.
In between will be eight years of training for 40 finalists, who will learn how to grow vegetables, handle medical issues and other things that are needed for survival. All of this will be part of a global reality television show that will help fund the project.
I'm not sure how the 40 finalists will be chosen, but at the very least Mars One wants to give the public at least the appearance of having some input. You can go to this Mars One page and see videos of some applicants, with an opportunity to rate each applicant based on a five-star system.
Most of these people are sadly deluded and have wasted anywhere from $15 to $38 on the application fee. I'm reasonably certain that older and heavier candidates will not make the final cut. Nor will those whose main credentials are that they "like helping people," "get along well with others" and "are a bit of a joker." All great characteristics, but if I'm stuck for life on an airless and pitiless planet, where the slightest mistake can lead to instant death, I'm looking for a little more Mr. Spock and a little less Jerry Seinfeld.
Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp tells CNN, "What we want to do is tell the story to the world when humans go to Mars, when they settle on Mars and build a new Earth, a new planet. This is one of the most exciting things that ever happened, and we want to share the story with the entire world."
Which means they want it to have a happy ending, so the dreamers and flakes eventually will be weeded out (though they might keep one or two around until the very end for reality-show ratings; I mean, why not?). But we've got a long way to go until then. For now, all we can do is rate the applicants!