The Dutch company Mars One launched its online application process on April 22, in an effort to find four people to send to Mars to create a permanent colony there in 2023, Space.com reported.
"With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history," Mars One CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. "These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants."
So far, applications have come in from more than 120 countries, with many coming from the United States, which submitted 17,324 applications, CNN reported.
"Mars One is a mission representing all humanity, and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I'm proud that this is exactly what we see happening," Lansdorp said.
None of the four people who will be selected for the journey will ever return home, Lansdorp said at a press conference.
The one-way trip also cuts on costs for Mars One, which has yet to overcome the obstacle of funding, CNN said.
The colony's budget is "about $6 billion," Lansdorp said. "The $6 billion is for the first crew that goes there."
Mar One hopes to send another crew in 2025.
Applications, and a $38 registration fee, will be accepted until August 31.