More than 200,000 people from 140 countries have applied to go to Mars and never return, the group behind an ambitious venture to colonise the inhospitable red planet says.
The foundation, which began receiving applications in April, said it received applications from 202,586 people from around the world. Nearly a quarter of the applicants are from the United States, 10 percent from India and six percent from China.
Over the coming months, the applicants will be pared down and those selected will be notified by the end of the year.
By 2015, up to 10 four-member teams would have been through intensive training, with the first of those teams reaching Mars in 2023 on a high-risk journey that would take seven months to complete.
Selected candidates will undergo intense physical and mental testing, as teams from different regions of the world will compete against each other until 24-40 make the final cut by 2015.
These future Martians will then begin seven years of training. Those who do go to Mars will spend the rest of their lives there.
Mars One says the initial mission will cost $6 billion, sourced from the private sector and a television reality show.
According to the Mars One website, “human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies.”