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WASHINGTON — A group of volunteers hoping to become the first human Martians congregated in one spot for the first time Saturday (Aug. 3) to discuss their hopes to join the Mars One mission, a project to send colonists on a one-way trip to the Red Planet.
Mars One CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp addressed a crowd of about 50 Mars One applicants, almost all male, in an auditorium here at George Washington University. The mood at the event, which was webcast live, was something akin to a gamer's LAN party — excited discussions blended with nerdy banter. But the purpose was serious.
"How many of you want to go on a one-way trip to Mars?" Lansdorp asked. Nearly everyone raised their hands. [Mars One’s Red Planet Colony Project (Gallery)] The Mars One colony mission, announced in May 2012, aims to send humans to Mars in 2023. Yet unlike other proposed manned Mars missions, they won't be coming back. The colonists will be sent in groups of four, and the first group will have two men and two women, hailing from four different continents. The company is accepting applications from anyone over the age of 18, through August 31.
The response has been overwhelming — as of May, some 78,000 Mars colonist applications had been received.