Mars One, the Dutch company that is looking for a few individuals with the "right stuff" (the "right stuff" being wanting to leave Earth and never, ever return), reports that more than 78,000 people have applied to be chosen for a trip to the red planet.
The company is aiming to put four people on Mars every two years, starting in April 2023 (April, not May, not June — they've got this whole thing figured out already), and will help fund the project through a lucrative reality television show that will follow the astronauts on their harrowing journey.
“Going to Mars would make me feel like I am a true 'Star Trek' officer,” Michael Archavia, an applicant, told NBC.
“This is turning out to be the most desired job in history,” Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp said in a press statement. “These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.”
Talk about a stiff job market, eh?
While the one way trip to Mars could be compared to colonists setting of to Jamestown or Australia, I'd have to say the major difference is that both Virginia and Australia had a breathable atmosphere.
Sill, intrepid adventurers are ready for the journey:
Ashley Owl, a 21-year-old Cuban-American in Miami who volunteers at a hospital there, admitted that watching too many science fiction movies and TV shows had “desensitized” her to fear. “It just makes me to want to explore even more,” she said.
While the Mars One trip will most likely never happen, the project won't be a total failure for its CEO: the application itself costs between $5 to $75, depending on the country.
For actual harrowing space exploration, be sure to check out the livestream of the emergency spacewalk happening at the International Space Station right now.