202,586 People paid to apply to become Mars Settlers

After the close of the first round of applications, there were 202,586 who paid registration fee ranging from about $5 to $73, depending on the country (it was $38 in the United States, $7 in India). This would be a one way trip to Mars. It is likely that Mars One has raised $5 million through non-refundable registration fees alone. They also sell t-shirts and other gear.

Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations; it is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars.

The Mars One mission plan consists of cargo missions and unmanned preparation of a habitable settlement, followed by human landings. In the coming years, a demonstration mission, communication satellites, two rovers and several cargo missions will be sent to Mars. These missions will set up the outpost where the human crew will live and work.

The mission design takes into account the expansion of the human colony where a new crew arrive every two years.

Mars One will select and train the human crew for permanent settlement.

Each Round 1 applicant is now being screened by the Selection Committee, which is expected to take several months. Candidates selected to pass to the next round will be notified by the end of 2013. The second round of selection will start in early 2014, where the candidates will be interviewed in person by the Mars One Selection Committee.

Aspiring martians who have missed Round 1 or could not meet the age restriction can join subsequent Astronaut Selection Program

They have a roadmap of planned activities.

For this to work they need to have success with a Survivor like TV show for the selected potential astronauts. This would need to generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

Then they need to get close to Olympics like TV and advertising sponsership for the actual missions. If they can raise one to three billion from that then they would be able to afford sending the initial robotic missions to Mars and gain further momentum for human missions to Mars if the costs can come down.

Launch of Mars-bound Demonstration Mission and Communication Satellite – 2016

A Demonstration Mission is launched to Mars in January 2016; it provides proof of concept for some of the technologies that are important for a human mission.

A Communication Satellite is also launched that is placed into a Mars stationary orbit. It enables 24/7 communication between the two planets. It can relay images, videos and other data from the Mars surface. The data bandwidth of the ComSat is about 4 times that of the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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