In an email statement to Popular Science Thursday, Mars One announced plans to build a simulated colony here on Earth to vet astronauts and make sure they can withstand the cramped and isolated conditions colonists will have to endure before awarding them their one-way ticket.
They are currently in the process of courting financial sponsors and construction companies, and while the simulated Martian digs won’t actually boast extraterrestrial life-support right off the bat, the company intends to retrofit the technology to the structure down the line.
More than 200,00 people applied for the chance to be among the first colonists. Mars One has already narrowed the pool to just over a thousand candidates, and intends ultimately to send a cadre of 24-40 colonists to the planet.
According to Popular Science, “spaceflight contractors Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. are already working with Mars One to develop a robotic lander and a data-link satellite for an unmanned, exploratory mission to Mars in 2018.”
Mars One has said in the past that they intend to televise the colonization as a means of funding.
So who’s ready for Big Brother: Martian Edition? That will be reality television worth watching.