A Dutch startup called Mars One aims to establish a human colony on Mars by 2023 -- 10 years ahead of NASA's schedule -- and fund the $6 billion project by turning it into "the biggest media event ever."
Yep, it's basically Big Brother on Mars (and, in fact, Big Brother creator Paul Römer is one of Mars One's sponsors).
"To attract sponsors, we will create appealing media content around the selection of the astronauts, the training, unmanned missions and other topics," said Mars One cofounder Bas Lansdorp.
The astronaut selection process -- read: auditions -- for the show will begin in 2012, and the competition will narrow the candidate pool from 40 down to 4 over a decade-long training process. Naturally, viewers will get a say in who gets "voted off" the space mission.
Simon Cowell could not be reached for comment.