By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
Would you like to go live on Mars?
A Dutch company called Mars One has announced plans to create the first human settlement on the Red Planet in just 10 years.
Mars One plans to pick travelers to submit to a full-time training program that will conclude with a one-way ticket to Mars, where a prepared colony will be waiting.
Prospective colonists must be at least 18 years old, and the Mars One team says qualities such as resiliency, adaptability, creativity, resourcefulness and curiosity will be given high priority. All necessary skills for Mars survival will be taught to the colonists over the next decade as they prepare full-time to blast into space--and history.
Mars One founders Bas Landsorp and Arno Wielders, entrepreneurs with ties to technology and space industries, said they plan to send probes and rovers as early as 2016 to prepare the planet for human habitation.
And--no surprise here--they plan to fund the mission through the wonders of Reality television.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Space X founder Elon Musk is also eyeing plans to populate Mars, offering aspiring Martians berth for the low low price of half a million dollars.
SpaceX's Elon Musk: Your ticket to Mars? Half a million dollarsNovember 26, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
(Los Angeles Times) SpaceX founder and billionaire Elon Musk is laying out his plans for a colony on Mars, and they are specific.
Musk has already mapped out an approximate number of people he imagines living in the Mars colony (80,000), as well as how much a ticket to Mars might cost--$500,000.
But first, he said, SpaceX has to design what he calls a "rapid and reusable" rocket that can land vertically. "That is the pivotal step to achieving a colony on Mars," he told an audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London last week.
If SpaceX or another company can't come up with a rocket that can be reused and refueled (like we reuse airplanes), then he said colonizing Mars would be prohibitively expensive.
Musk described creating a rocket that could shuttle between Mars and the Earth as "possible, but quite difficult."
But that hasn't stopped him from mapping out a vision of how a colony on Mars might grow. The first step, of course, is getting a manned mission to Mars, which Musk said he thinks SpaceX can do in 10 to 15 years.
Next, he envisions sending 10 people to the Red Planet, along with supplies to build transparent domes, Space.com reports. If the domes are pressurized with the CO2 in Mars' atmosphere, the colonists could grow Earth crops in the soil on Mars.
As the colony became more self-sufficient, space on the rocket could be filled with people rather than supplies.
And those numbers Musk tossed out are not random. He arrived at 80,000 colonists by estimating that by the time a Mars colony is a reality there will be 8 billion people on Earth. Musk said he thinks 1 in 100,000 people will be ready and willing to take the journey to Mars. As for the $500,000 ticket--he said that while it's a lot of money, it is a sum of money that someone who has worked hard and saved carefully might be able to afford.
And as to whether the American taxpayer should contribute to a colony on Mars, Musk says yes. A colony on another planet is life insurance for life collectively, he said during his talk. He added that it would be a fun adventure to watch, even if you aren't planning on going yourself.
If you'd like to see the talk for yourself, check out the video below.