Vying for a literal trip of a lifetime, five Brits are amongst the 100 shortlisted candidates for a one way mission to inhabit Mars.
The project, which aims to have a permanent colony on
the red planet by 2024 is privately funded and some way off its £3.9 billion target, but the mission has captured the imagination of many.
The whole process is being filmed for a reality TV series, reminiscent of the Kim Stanley Robinson novels, which also chart the colonisation of Mars.
A 23 year old astronomy student is among those selected as well as an astrophysics student, an Oxford University student, a science laboratory technician and a systems integration manager for Virgin Media.