by Miryam Muller in , ,

The future of space travel is closer than most of us think and last night, at the "future of space travel" conference in Amsterdam, scientists Gerard 't Hooft, Bas Lansdorp en Michel van Pelt all gave us amazingly clear explanations on how we will be returning some time soon.

Nowadays several space agencies are taking second looks at historical exploration scenarios, for instance: "Mars One" a project by the Dutch Bas Lansorp, wants to land four astronauts on the Red Planet in 2023. Along with the idea he also came up with a creative way to fund this ambitious undertaking.

The Netherlands-based nonprofit plans to stage a global reality-TV event that follows the colonization effort from astronaut selection through the settlers' first years on the Red Planet. Mars One thinks revenues from broadcasting rights and sponsorships will cover most of the one-way mission's estimated $6 billion cost.

The cameras will be turned on soon. Mars One released its basic astronaut requirements earlier this month — you must be at least 18 years old, intelligent, in good mental and physical health and committed to the project — and the televised astronaut-selection process will kick off later this year, officials say.

Yesterday Lansdorp talked about Mars One's business model, the major challenges facing the project and its long-term goals, which include landing new crews on the Red Planet every two years after the first pioneers touch down.

Human exploration is inspiring and romantic and useful when it comes to scientific understanding. Advances in (robotic) technology means there are few things an astronaut can't do in space. Lets hope that they will succeed. 

Bas Lansdorp.