A Dutch non-profit called the Mars One Foundation announced in New York it is taking applications for volunteers willing to take a one-way trip to Mars.
The foundation announced at a New York news conference it is planning to send the first group of humans to Mars in 2022, with an aim to land in 2023 and establish the first permanent human settlement on the red planet, CNN reported Tuesday.
Bas Lansdorp, chief executive officer of Mars One, said "no new inventions are needed to land humans on Mars" and the largest obstacles facing the mission are financial. However, he said money will be saved by making the trip one-way, as new technologies would have to be developed before a return trip could be made possible.
Lasdorp said the idea is for the volunteers to live out the rest of their lives on Mars.
"It's likely that there will be a crematorium," Lansdorp said. "It's up to the people on Mars to decide what to do with their dead."
Grant Anderson of the Paragon Space Development Corp., which manufactures life-support systems and is a partner in the Mars One effort, said some technological obstacles still need to be cleared before the mission can proceed.
"Questions of reliability and robustness have to be answered before we leave Earth," he said.
Lansdorp said anyone over the age of 18 can apply for the mission by submitting a video and a $38 application fee.
"We are very excited about launching the selection program. Round One is where we open the doors to Mars for everyone on Earth. This is an international mission and it is very important for the project that anyone anywhere can ask themselves: Do I want this? Am I ready for this? If the answer is yes then we want to hear from you," Lansdorp said.
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