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Mars One plans human colonization of Mars by April 2023

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With NASA’s budget cut, privatized space travel has become the next frontier for wealthy businessmen with dreams of becoming the real-life Tony Stark. Among the dreamers, there are some that are acting out on loftier ambitions. Forget the moon; the team from the Mars One project is setting out to make the colonization of Mars a reality.

The private Dutch company Mars One has set an ambitious deadline for the first permanent Mars colony: April 2023. For those who opt to settle on  Mars, there will be no turning back. Their residence on the dusty planet would be permanent, although every two years, the established colony would welcome new residents, thereby slowly growing the Mars-based community.

Mars One initially plans to send over four astronauts in a journey that will take a mind-numbing seven months. Come 2033, the program hopes to have over 20 astronauts living on Mars.

An aerial views of Mars One's planned settlement on Mars

If you’re skeptical about Mars One’s plans, you should be, but the project has the backing of the 1999 Physics Nobel Prize winner, Professor Dr. Gerard T Hooft, and the interest of several major privately operated commercial space corporations and suppliers that are capable of building the equipment and gear necessary to make the mission a success.

“This is going to be private enterprise, only private firms are going to contribute. No political mumbo-jumbo, no tax-payer’s money will be involved,” Dr. Hooft said in a statement.

The plan will begin only four years from now in 2016, when a communications satellite and a supply mission will be sent to Mars. Come 2018, a rover will be transported to Mars with the purpose of seeking an ideal location and best living condition to prepare for the permanent human settlement on the red planet. On 2020, the living capsules, supplies, life support unit and a rover tasked with reassembling the settlement components will be sent to Mars, preparing the colony for habitation. The first four astronauts will begin their journey on September 2022, landing on the planet on April of 2023.

Mars One plans on funding the continuous mission through a media spectacle that will allow anyone to stream and monitor the progress. In other words, such a widely publicized event would be prime real estate for advertisers and sponsors.

The aspiration is lofty, but private exploration is taking off — literally. Just last month, the privately built and launched Space X Dragon capsule was able to link with the International Space Station. Private corporations like Virgin Galactic, Space X and even Red Bull are racing to become the next household name that children will be talking about for generations to come.

Check out Mars One’s video below and let us know in the comments below if you’d be willing to leave the comforts of Earth to spend the rest of your life on a Martian planet.