Voice 1: Here’s an interesting suggestion. Fast forward ten years into the future to 2023, and think about where you would like to go on the trip of a lifetime, if no expense was spared.
Voice 2: What about a trip to Europe taking in all the capital cities? Or a road trip around Australia in an open-top car, mixing extreme sports with lazy days spent on golden beaches? Or what about a private plane taking you to all the major cities and natual landmark of North America? Remember, money is no object, and you can go anywhere you like.
Voice 1: Probably, the planet Mars would not figure on your list of possible places to visit for this trip of a lifetime, but this could be perfectly feasible if you move quickly and get your name down with an organisation called ‘Mars One’.
Voice 2: Yes, it’s true. ‘Mars One’ is a legitimate company offering trips to the Red Planet beginning in 2023. They already have a list of more than a thousand people interested in booking a place on their first ship due to blast off from Earth in ten years time.
Voice 1: ‘Mars One’ is a privately run organisation based in the Netherlands, and its plan to land volunteer astronauts on the Red Planet is fact, not fiction. The technology for success already exists, and the company has the backing of some of the world’s top physicists, astronauts and Nasa scientists.
Voice 2: But there is one major drawback that could very well put you off applying to take part in the ‘Mars One’ programme. The ticket to Mars, lasting seven months, would be one way. The astronaut volunteers will live and die on Mars. Return tickets are not being offered.
Voice 1: Before the first humans arrive to spend the rest of their lives on the Red Planet, ‘Mars One’ will have shipped out all the equipment needed to set up a working colony. The location chosen for the first settlement is known to contain frozen water in the soil. This will be used for drinking, and to bathe, grow crops and create oxygen. The first settlers will use local materials to build their own living quarters. Electricity will be produced using solar panels.
Voice 2: The basic elements required for sustaining life are already present on Mars. All that is now needed is people. During 2013 - 14, the first twenty-four astronauts will be selected and training will begin. The search for the best candidates will be global, open to every person of every age from every nation. You can find all details on the Mars One website, but time is running out to get your name down if you are interested.
Voice 1: The first group of four colonists will arrive on Mars in 2023, and two years later a second group of four will join them. By 2033, the first human colony on Mars will have reached twenty settlers. Would you like to put your name down? Who knows? You might be an ideal candidate to take the ‘next giant leap forward for mankind’!