Space the Final Frontier

Would You Sign Up for a Reality TV Show that Offered a One-Way Ticket to Mars?

We thought you'd never ask!
screen shot 2012 08 14 at 12 51 42 pm Would You Sign Up for a Reality TV Show that Offered a One Way Ticket to Mars?

That’s some lonely country.

Elon Musk isn’t the only entrepreneur with his gaze fixed firmly on the horizon of the Red Planet. My Fox New York reports that a Dutch company named Mars One wants to put humans on the alien world’s surface by 2023. Not only that, they’ll be a very special brand of human: Reality TV stars.

No, the company is not simply strapping Jill Zarin to a rocket and waiting for the inevitable rating success. Think of their proposal as more like an Astronaut Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance (On the Surface of Mars). The aim is to create a “global media spectacle” and thereby fund the project commercially:

They hope a worldwide audience would help pick the teams of settlers, follow their training observe the trip, and pay for it.  The mission is estimated to cost $6 billion.

It’s probably a lot easier to sell “crazy” to advertisers than than venture capitalists.

The plan is to send the colonists on a one-way trip, leaving them to establish a habitable settlement. And they’ve got to make it work, because there’s no ride back, and there’s no friendly natives waiting to teach them about maize. Every two years, another crew of astronauts arrives to join them.

So instead of booting aging stars when their rivalries get repetitive or their schtick tired, they’ll simply remain on the show, forever and ever. So the producers better choose wisely.

Here’s the video pitch:

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com