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Some 1,800 Indians, want to settle down on the Red Planet permanently and several of them are from Bangalore, according to Aashima Dogra, spokesperson of the Netherlands-based Mars One, which is planning a one-way human mission to Mars in 2022.

Mars One, founded in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization which aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023. It intends to fund the Endeavour by televising every aspect of the mission, from launch to landing to living on Mars.

The number of Indians expressing a desire to make Mars their permanent home is rapidly increasing. Dogra told TOI that while on May 6 the Mars One website showed the Indian count at a mere five, the number has rocketed to nearly 1,800 over the last three months.

The team of settlers will be selected from applicants registered on the company's website, and a $7 fee is the only investment involved as of now. Anyone above 18 can apply. So far some 100,00 people have applied and 30,000 are from the US.

Amulya Nidhi Rastogi, a third-year mechanical engineering student of Maharishi Dayanand College, wasn't too distraught about the prospect of going without kin either. The 20-year-old, said, he "wanted to experience something beyond earth and I think Mars is the first step in this direction. I am confident of settling down on Mars permanently as I have the mental stability."

About being separated from the family — who are supporting his plan — he said, "I do not think that will be much of a problem because there will be facilities for video chatting. Yes, I agree it will be disturbing for a while, but I will get used to it."

Rastogi is confident about passing the isolation test, part of the selection process which consists of four rounds, the first of which will be completed by this year-end. The final will be in 2014.

Those selected will undergo eight years of intensive training.

The current plan envisages the start of crew training in 2015, launching of two rovers in 2018, followed by an all-cargo mission in 2020 and the first one-way human flight in 2022. Mars One is in the process of evaluating various rockets.

Their website claims that the company intends to provide settlers with water, food and oxygen by mining resources from Mars' soil and atmosphere and that all components required to complete the mission can currently be built by existing suppliers.

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