The Guardian Adam Gabbatt
Almost 80,000 people have applied to take part in a one-way mission to Mars, each of them completing a rigorous application that stresses the need for a "Can Do!" attitude, asks individuals about their sense of humor and requires the submission of an application fee that can be as much as $75.
Mars One, the Dutch company behind the proposed mission, says it has received applications from more than 120 countries. It also says that the role of Mars explorer/guinea pig is "the most desired job in history". More than 17,000 of the applicants are from the US – the most of any country so far.
"These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants," said the founder of Mars One, Bas Lansdorp. "Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I'm proud that this is exactly what we see happening."