In the ultimate 21st-century scenario, Daily Dot reports that 100 candidates have been selected to colonize Mars in a crowd-funded/corporate-sponsored project, preparations for which will be broadcast on reality TV.  An eight-year training process commences this year, and the final twenty-four astronauts will be selected by Earth-wide vote. 

"Because this mission is humankind's mission, Mars One has the intention to make this a democratic decision," Mars One explains. "The whole world will have a vote which group of four will be the first humans on Mars."

Why would anybody do this, you ask? Mars One FAQ explains: "Not unlike the ancient Chinese, Micronesians, and untold Africans, the Vikings and famed explorers of Old World Europe, who left everything behind to spend the majority of their lives at sea, a one-way mission to Mars is about exploring a new world and the opportunity to conduct the most revolutionary research ever conceived, to build a new home for humans on another planet." 

While even the most inhospitable places on Earth would probably be easier to build a home in than Mars, the project was created by a wind energy entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, who left his company Ampyx Power in order to launch Mars One. 

Astronauts will be consigned living units of over 50 square meters (164 square feet) of inflatable living space per person, where they will produce plants, shower, and "lead typical day-to-day lives".  

Naturally, merchandising is also underway. It's down at the moment, but check back later to visit the web shop