Most reality shows can only offer their participants free booze and a fleeting chance at fame, but a new reality show called “Mars One” is upping the ante in a big, big way: they’re offering their cast a one-way ticket to Mars. Yes, really. A Dutch company is now accepting applications for aspiring astronauts/reality TV stars. The plan is for the first group of humans to depart for their new home planet in 2023, with subsequent crews joining them every two years (the journey from Earth to Mars takes seven months). Colonizing the red planet will cost an estimated $6 billion, which is where the reality show angle comes in.
According to Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp, “Mars One intends to maintain an ongoing, global media event, from astronaut selection to training, from liftoff to landing…If humans land on Mars, everyone will want to watch. It will be bigger than the Olympic Games.” Potential participants need to keep in mind that the show might turn out to be more like “The Hunger Games” than “Mars-y Shore”: “There will be emergencies and deaths,” Lansdorp said. “We need to make sure that crew members can continue without those people.” Eesh.
If you’re still itching to join the cast of Mars One, you must pass two eligibility requirements: participants must be 18 years or older, and willing to live out their entire lives on another planet, because Mars One does not plan for any return missions to Earth.
So, who’s ready to send in their application? (If you’re on the fence, keep in mind there’s a $38 application fee.) I’m going to go ahead and sit this one out, but lord knows I’ll be watching whatever crazy show they put together. Really hoping they have some kind of romantic re-population ceremony on the peak of Olympus Mons.