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Space Agency opens Mars mission to public

Fancy a trip to Mars without the dangerous journey? The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for volunteers to take part in the 520-day round trip and is accepting applications from any physically fit and psychologically sound person under the age of 50.

However, rather than launching into space and actually setting foot on the Red Planet, the ESA’s mission is to take place in a simulated environment in Russia.

The experiment is designed to test the feasibility of a full-scale journey to Mars, with successful applicants set to experience “extreme isolation and confinement” as they lose sight of planet Earth on a journey with "no way out". They will only be able to contact engineers via radio transmissions with a 40-minute time lag.

Nutrition will be identical to that provided on board the International Space Station, although the crew members’ survival is in their own hands, according to the ESA.

“A human mission to Mars is a bold vision for the time beyond the International Space Station,” said the ESA. “However, preparations have already started today. They are geared and committed to one goal: to send humans on an exploration mission to Mars, individuals who will live and work together in a spaceship for over 500 days.”

Up for it? Click here for the application form.

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