London: NASA's road map for reaching Mars may be in flux, but a private Dutch space firm has announced it wants to colonize Mars and plans to send four astronauts to the Red Planet to start operations by 2022.
MarsOne, founded by a Dutch energy entrepreneur, claimed that a new crew of four will join every two years as the explorers build their settlement, and that by 2033 there will be 20 people living on Mars. But the astronauts, it said, have to be committed to the project as they will never be able to come back to Earth, the Daily Mail reported.
The company has already been in talks with independent space suppliers such as Space X, which recently launched the first privately owned rocket to the Space Station.
MarsOne aims to start training astronauts in 2013, and will turn the entire programme into a media event, similar to a reality show.
MarsOne, backed by Nobel prize winning physicist Gerard't Hooft and also Big Brother co-director Paul Romer, aims to start training astronauts in 2013, and will turn the selection and training programme into a "media event" similar to a reality show.
"We see this as a journey that belongs to us all, and it is for this reason that we will make every step one that we take together," the company said. "This will also be our way to finance the mission: the mission to Mars will be the biggest media event ever! The entire world will be able to watch and help with decisions as the settlers are selected, follow their extensive training and of course observe their settling on Mars once arrived.