Chennai: Over 8,000 Indians have so far signed up for the one-way trip to Mars and settle down on the red planet.
The one-way trip called Mars One, a project by The Netherlands, has been conceived with the aim of establishing a colony there in the next 10 years.
An applicant named Jiten Khanna spoke to a CNN-IBN correspondent and said that he wanted to know whether NASA actually found water on Mars, what does the Martian terrain looked like. He added that he had reached the next round of the Mars One selection and getting to the red planet was his great dream.
Another applicant Manikandan, a distributor of fire safety equipments, is one among 8000 Indians who have signed up for Mars One, a journey that is planned for 2023.
Manikandan said, "Initially everybody was laughing. They said don't make crazy things, but I told 2.02 lakh people have applied from all over the world."
He added, "Anything can happen anytime. While riding a car I can meet with an accident, but at the time of death, there should be some meaning of life."
Mars One hopes to set up a human colony on the planet. Out of over 2 lakh applicants, just 40 will be trained for a life on Mars while only four will actually make the proposed trip.
However, Sridhar Murthy, an advisor for Mars One, said, "Most applicants haven't understood the mission, specially going by what they post on social media."
He added that when they discuss these things, probably much of it is inspired by the background of what is found on earth.
Murthy went on to say that conditions on Mars was very different and if they have to make a living out of resources found there then it's an entirely different ball game.
There is no fossil fuels, resources are very limited and one can't take any heavy material from earth to Mars because it is going to be very expensive to transport any material, said Murthy.
He stressed the kind of missions envisaged for Mars One is very challenging and it is very different from the conditions people are used to on earth.
India has seen the fourth largest number of applicants for the Mars One mission that's supposed to take off in 2023 and the competition is huge for a mission that almost seems suicidal.