Will You Be Among The First Humans To Settle On Mars?

By Gopi Chandra Kharel on April 24, 2013 1:46 AM EDT

Settling Down In Mars
Mars One is expecting many responses from applications (Photo: Reuters)

When Neil Alden Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon and pushed himself to lumber along the glorious floor of the celestial body, he called his stride "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". But with every ounce of scientific achievement man makes, it leaves mankind yearning for more "giant" a leap than ever before.

Perhaps, in the greatest leap mankind will ever make, Mars-One, a not-for-profit organization, is set to send the first troop of human beings to the red planet and make it their permanent home, a move that attempts to fulfill the ever growing quest of mankind to find another "Earth" in the universe.

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The organization invites the would-be Mars settlers from any corner of the world whose name would go into the furthest corner of history as the first humans to make mars their abode. Online application is open via apply.mars-one.com.

This online application will be the first round of the four rounds of the entire selection procedure. Round One will end August 31 next and those selected until this date will be among the first crew to land on Mars in 2023. Other members of the first crew will also be further selected from three subsequent rounds of selection.

"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," said Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars One in a release.

Mars One is expecting many responses from applications as the organization has already received over 10,000 messages from prospective applicants from at least 100 countries.

Applicants are given the choice of publishing their interest to settle on Mars and of promoting their application page. While Mars One experts who will chose the candidates to go to the second round, the public will have the chance to know the aspiring candidates and give them their "vote of confidence."

After the potential settlers are selected beyond the round four, they will all be given appropriate training to gain skills they will need both on Mars and on their journey there. Although Mars One would prefer applicants who are both "mature and interesting", no particular academic or professional background is sought as a prerequisite for selection.

After 24-40 candidates will have been fully trained and qualified in the last stage, the final decision of choosing the first settlers will be held by an audience vote.

"In a 1000 years, everyone on Earth will still remember who the first humans on Mars were, just like Neil Armstrong has etched in our memories forever. This makes the selection of the first crew to a different planet a very important election; in my opinion more important than most elections. We hope the whole world will join Mars One in our democratic search of the envoys of mankind to Mars," Lansdorp said.

Before the first human settlers will land on Mars, a life-sustaining habitat will be set up with the help of rovers while more settlers will be taken from Earth every two years. Mars-One says that a realistic mission plan has been deliberated using various technology available through the private space industry.

While the first footsteps on Mars will fascinate generations from now, the organization says that it is this gripping interests from fellow humans that will help finance this mission of what will become the greatest leap for mankind.

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