01/06/2012 17:44 BST | Updated 01/06/2012 18:00 BST

Mars One: Dutch Mission Wants To Establish First Human Settlement On The Red Planet

An aspiring group of Dutch entrepreneurs and scientists have taken on the interplanetary challenge of colonising Mars.

The manned mission is named "Mars One" and insists that in just over ten years, four astronauts will emigrate to the red planet, soon to be joined by more ambitious earthlings.

A new team of four explorers will join the settlement every two years, following the initial 2023 space landing.

"By 2033 there will be over twenty people living, working and flourishing on Mars, their new home," Mars One's mission objective states.

Living on Mars may sound like an astronomical joke as well as a scientific impossibility, but these Dutch space raiders are apparently serious.

Headed by scientist and entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, a Nobel Prize-winning professor has also added credibility to the campaign.

As a mission ambassador, Dr Gerard 't Hooft insists that the project "seems [to me] to be the only way to fulfil dreams of mankind’s expansion into space."

And if plans like these sound exciting, Mars One is holding auditions for aspiring astronauts, beginning next year.


An artist's impression of living conditions on Mars

These soon-to-be Martians will be put through a training programme and Mars One states that the groups of four will be judged on "personalities, ability and chemistry to make sure they work well together".

However there is a drawback: when you emigrate to Mars under this mission's custodianship it is strictly on a one-way ticket.

Still keen? The mission does promise "unlimited access to email to keep in touch with friends and family back on Earth".

mars one

There's no bunting on Mars, but could you live in these conditions?

There is still the question of whether it is really possible to live on Mars.

Although Mars is perhaps the most hospitable of our planetary neighbours, the temperature on the red planet rarely rises higher than the freezing point of water.

However Mars One explains how the existence of polar caps on the fourth rock from the sun will actually benefit settlers.

They claim that they will extract "water ice" using heat, which will then be employed to "to drink, bathe with, or used to feed crops". It will also be manipulated to create oxygen, the team say.


Leave the trappings of the old world behind: fashion is not a priority on Mars

Their futuristic vision, outlined on their incredibly detailed website, includes the possibility of sending up supplies, but underlined is the Martian settlers self-reliance.

"We will provide the pioneers with machinery that will make them increasingly more independent from Earth.

"A machine that makes bricks could be one, to construct their own buildings, or an appliance that allows them to make their own plastic components."

Mars One compares life on the red planet to living at the Antarctic, inhospitable but possible. So ask yourself Earthlings, are you jaded by the Jubilee, over the Olympics, and bored of Boris Johnson? It may just be time to dust off your telescope.