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Thousands Apply For One-Way Trip To Mars

Last updated on Thursday, September 12, 2013

(UNDATED) - More than 200,000 people have registered with interest in taking a one-way trip to Mars - but only a portion of those people are officially in the running for the Mars One venture. Mars One says that Americans make up about a quarter of applicants.

Around 2,700 people have paid their registration fee and submitted public videos in which they make their for going to Mars, with no guarantee they'll come back. NBC News calculated this number based on the numbers of videos uploaded on Mars One's website, because the venture will not disclose the official number of applicants.

Mars One will not consider applicants that do not pay a fee ranging from $5-$73. The second round of vetting involves medical data and a meeting with a selection committee. Second round candidates should be notified by the end of 2013 and interviews will begin early next year. The initial application period ended on August 31.

Applicants will eventually face two rounds of reality-TV competitions as part of the selection process. The revenue from the programming will go toward the cost of sending the first four-person crew to Mars, which could add up to billions of dollars. There's been no official word of any TV deals yet.

Mars One explains that it's far easier logistically to send astronauts on a one-way trip to Mars than to make a round trip - comparing it to the way Europeans settled the Americas.

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