Despite the one-way nature of the trip, it seems there’s no shortage of people willing to pack their bags and experience life on Mars. Just two weeks after putting out the call for potential Mars settlers, Mars One had received over 78,000 applications from people in over 120 countries. With the application period set to last 19 weeks, the Mars One selection committees face a daunting task in whittling the numbers down to the four individuals that will ultimately make the journey that is planned for September 2022.

The USA was far and away the source of the greatest number of applicants with 17,324 willing to leave the land of the free behind for a taste of the Red Planet. It was followed by China with 10,241 and the UK a distant third with 3,581. Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and India rounded out the top 10.

“Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I’m proud that this is exactly what we see happening,” said Mars One Co-Founder and CEO, Bas Lansdorp.

The online application process will continue until August 31st 2013, when Mars One hopes to have attracted half a million applicants, who are all required to submit a one-minute video explaining their reasons for wanting to go to Mars. Applicants can choose to make their videos public on the Mars One applicant website along with a brief profile.

While the public can rate the applicants, the final decision on who makes it through to round two will be made by “Mars One experts.” The company says, “no particular academic or professional background in considered a prerequisite for selection,” however, resilience, adaptability, curiosity, the ability to trust others, and creativity/resourcefulness are all considered compulsory character traits.

Round two will see regional reviewers selecting 50 to 100 candidates from each of the 300 geographic regions identified by Mars One. The 28 to 40 applicants who manage to make it past round four, which is due to conclude in 2015, will then undergo seven years of training to give them the skills required not only for establishing a settlement on Mars, but also for the seven-month journey there.

So if you’re interested, there’s still plenty of time to get your application in via the source link below. But be aware, applicants are required to pay an administration fee. In an effort to make the program accessible to people from all nations, the fee will vary across nations according to their gross domestic product (GDP).

Source: Mars One

Update (May 8, 2013): The article originally stated that payment of the administration fee was required after the second round. This was an error. The fee is required up front when submitting the initial application. We apologize for any misunderstanding.

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