Thousands of wannabe Martians from Australia have put their hand up for the biggest relocation of a lifetime - from Earth to the Red Planet.

More than 2,500 Australians have applied for the one-way trip to Mars, which will double as a reality TV show.

The Mars One project, which aims to create the first human settlement on the Solar System's second-smallest planet, has received 165,000 applications from astronaut hopefuls from 140 different countries.

"We now have a large group of applicants from where we can start our search," Mars One chief medical officer Dr Norbert Kraft said.

"Finding the best crews of qualified and compatible individuals is crucial to the success of our mission."

Successful applicants will have to say goodbye to Earth forever, with the first crew of four people expected to launch into space for their seven months journey to Mars in 2022.

"While sustaining human life on Mars is not trivial, it is far easier and safer than bringing the crew back to Earth," Mars One says.

The organisers have the support of project ambassador and Big Brother inventor Paul Romer and are hoping to broadcast the process as a worldwide media event.

The audience will vote for which teams they want on Mars first.

Mars One says broadcasting rights and sponsorship will predominantly fund the $6 billion project, which will start training successful applicants in 2015.

Applications closed on August 31, but if you missed out this time, don't despair - Mars One will send a new group of four to the planet every two years.

Despite the expense, risks and obvious challenges, the project boasts a long list of credentialled advisers and ambassadors, including Nobel Prize winners, astronauts, scientists, NASA engineers and media and television entrepreneurs.

More than 500 New Zealanders have also applied to be one of the first humans to live on Mars.

 

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