Mars One will launch its first unmanned mission to Mars in 2016

Mars One will launch its first unmanned mission to the Red Planet in 2016, its co-founder says.

The firm plans to establish a human settlement on Martian soil in 2023, by offering passengers a one-way ticket.

Mars One will send “a small craft that will demonstrate the technologies we need for our human colony” and is inviting partners to join the mission.

Full details will be revealed in December, by which point we may know who has made the initital shortlist to leave Earth forever.

More than 200,000 Earthlings from 140 countries have applied for the one-way ticket to the Red Planet.

To enter the reality TV-style selection process, applicants had to submit a video introducing themselves and explaining why they should be chosen.

“Two movies really stuck with me,” Lansdorp told the BBC.

“One guy created a Gangnam Style parody called Martian Style.”

“Another guy ‘video-shopped’ himself into scenes from Star Wars, explaining why he should be the one to go to Mars.”

Asked whether his venture is financially realistic, Lansdorp cited the enormous revenues likely from what he hopes will be the TV event of the century.

“We estimate $6bn to get the first four people on Mars and $4bn for every further group that follows.

“It’s a lot of money. But look at the broadcasting revenue from the Olympics in London – $4bn in three weeks.

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