Gaza, Alray - More than 100,000 people, among whom 9 Arabs and one Palestinian, have applied to be the first to make a one-way trip to Mars.
The private Dutch-based Mars One project is proposing to select a group of 40 would-be civilian astronauts this year, aiming to send four of them on a no-return journey to to the red planet in 2022.
The company said in a report that Palestine volunteered to travel to Mars although it has attained neither its freedom nor its territories from the Israeli occupier. The Palestinian volunteer’s name is Marwa Mikawi, 25, who loves science and astronomy and wishes to travel "to live on Mars."
The estimated cost for the initial mission is $6 billion which Mars One hopes to raise through sponsors and selling broadcasting rights to media companies, including a reality show of the colonization project.
It hopes to send a second group of four people to Mars a few years after the first. None of them will return to Earth. Before leaving the astronauts would train for eight years, learning medical and survival skills.
The prospect of a one way ticket has attracted a flood of interest since the mission was proposed in May 2012. The cost of applying varies depending on the person's country, but is $38 (£24.50) in the US.
Mars One chief executive Bas Lansdorp told CNN: "We wanted it to be high enough for people to have to really think about it, and low enough for anyone to be able to afford it."