Reality series about colonizing Mars might actually get us to the red planet

Remember that seemingly crazy idea about a reality series based around a mission to colonize Mars? Well, it’s on the verge of actually happening.

Dubbed Mars One, the “social experiment” would follow a group of people who would be trained and sent on a one-way trip to Mars to establish the first human colony. Yes, it sounds absolutely insane, but they have received almost 30,000 applicants to participate and the project is backed by Dutch billionaire entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp.

Oh, and as of today, Mars One has a studio attached to help produce the series and shop it around to networks. Lionsgate TV won a bidding war for the project, and it sounds like this one could actually make it on the air ... and even to the red planet, if the show is a big enough success, of course.

The show would spend the next few years focusing on the training process and preparation needed to actually become an astronaut, with a changing cast of approved applicants entering and exiting the program. The current plan would call for groups of four to be sent to Mars every two years in a series of one-way trips.

Producer Roy Bank told Deadline that Mars One would be a reality series in the truest sense, by literally following these people through legitimate training, then eventually the journey to Mars and the Herculean task of creating a new civilization from scratch:

“They’re colonizing Mars and starting a new society, so this group needs to possess a wide variety of skills — from medical to engineering to social as they are going to live with each other… They will serve as a microcosm of a larger society, so it is not only about how they get along but also how they procreate; they have to create new life so the society grows… What makes it such fascinating social experiment the ethics of it. Would a show like this be involved in promoting a suicide mission?”

As crazy as it sounds, this might be our fastest way to reach Mars, especially considering NASA’s budgetary woes, which have stalled any large-scale projects to get a foothold up there. Who knows, maybe a Big Brother-style reality television is the future of space exploration. Welcome to the brave new world?

(Via Deadline)

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