A nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands is making plans to establish a human settlement on Mars in 2023 and is in need of astronauts to train and prepare for the mission.
Anyone on Earth can apply if basic requirements are met. Mars One released its application criteria on Tuesday, which includes, among other virtues, "a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. Candidates must also be adaptable, curious, creative, resilient, and resourceful. Also, they must be at least 18-years-old. No maximum age has been set.
The selection process will commence during the first half of 2013. Mars One experts and viewers of a "global, televised program" will choose from the applications. Those selected will be assembled into teams of four. At least six teams are supposed to be ready to launch in September 2022.
Just one team will make the first trip to Mars, and that team will be decided upon democratically. The Mars One website states:
“The people of Earth will have a vote which group of four will be the first Earth ambassadors on Mars."
Subsequent teams will be sent to Mars in two-year intervals.
A minimum of eight years of training will be provided before the launch, which will include simulated missions, practice in a restricted mobility environment, and lessons in electronics, equipment repair, and basic and critical medical care.
Mars One plans to begin rocketing supplies to Mars in 2016. This will include two rovers as well as living units that can be assembled into a base once humans arrive on the Red Planet.
There is one significant hitch to signing up to go to Mars. Once you go, you can't come back. It's a one-way trip only.