In the first three days of accepting applications, the Mars One project has received a whopping 20,000 applications, with more than 600 coming from China alone. The project plans to send a select group of colonists to the Red Planet for permanent settlement — with permanent being the key word.
The Dutch aerospace project, which is aiming to put four humans on Mars by 2023, started accepting applications and audition tapes early last week. Co-founder Bas Lansdorp is hoping to receive anywhere from 500,000 to a million sign-ups — and if the first three days were of any indication, that seems entirely plausible. There is an application fee (the amount varies according to a country's per capita GDP), with the proceeds paying for the ongoing selection process and technology studies.