The independent Mars One organization planning a colonization mission to the red planet in 2025 will fund the trip in part with a TV show, which will document the training and selection of Mars’ potential first colonists.
U.K.-based production company DSP, which has a reputation for filming documentaries about space tourism and NASA’s shuttle program, will film and broadcast the show “around the world” according to a Verge report. DSP was the recipient of critical acclaim in 2003 for “Touching the Void,” which documented climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates’ near-fatal attempt to summit Siula Grande in Peru.
Applicants for the one-way trip will be featured in a show examining the “elite training program run by a panel comprised of pre-eminent scientists, adventurers and astronauts,” which will judge their competence of essential skills, physical fitness and mental health. Mars One has previously indicated the audiences may play a role in choosing the team members.
Mars One will need every ounce of funding it can get to even hope to complete its incredibly ambitious mission. Elon Musk’s private, billion-dollar SpaceX transportation company and the federally funded NASA — both of which are currently developing manned spaceflight technology for potential Mars missions — aren’t expecting a trip until the 2030s. So far, Mars One has a tentative deal with Lockheed and satellite company SSTL for an unmanned test flight in 2018.
The company narrowed down its initial 200,000 open-call astronaut applications to 1,000 late last year, with 705 reportedly still in the running to create six teams of four people each. The first episodes are expected to air sometime in early 2015.