So you might be wondering what the space program has done for you lately. The space shuttle era has ended and it has been way too long since somebody walked on the Moon. It’s the 21st century and we don’t even have a permanent lunar base, much less a manned mission going out to Jupiter. And I’ll allow that NASA has not been doing so great lately. It’s become way too risk-adverse and even NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, has admitted that he didn’t really want to send people to Mars. Kinda embarrassing, right?

Mars One wants to change all that. The goal of Mars One is to start a new Martian settlement and invite the average person who maybe hasn’t really thought he had a chance at going into space along for the ride. They’ve already closed the first round of applications. However, they will open them back up either later this year or next year, so you don’t really need to feel like you missed out on your big chance if you’re just now hearing about it. They mean to shut down all the queries of, “What’s in it for me?” simply by getting as many people involved as possible. You can get in on it, too, simply by bookmarking the official Mars One website and listening for news on when the next round of applications will open up.

Even if you don’t make it very far with your application (and most didn’t make it past the Round 1 cuts this time), keep your eyes peeled for job postings from Mars One and its contractors. That’s right, it is actually possible to earn a living while still helping make things happen with Mars One. The ones who ask what the space program has done for them lately are obviously people who never worked at NASA, Lockheed-Martin, or SpaceX. So troll their sites for job openings and you might actually find a successful career with them.

Don’t want to leave your already excellent job? I’m sure NASA would notice if they were suddenly flooded with job applications and word of that might work its way through to Capitol Hill, but no big deal. Supporting Mars One could be as simple as supporting this Thunderclap campaign so your friends can get the inside track on the life and thoughts of an Aspiring Martian like me. Or you might consider picking up one of the cool collectibles available with this Mars One Indiegogo campaign. (That link will take you to the OFFICIAL Indiegogo campaign. Don’t be fooled by the “Mars One Movie,” which is a fraud.)

If you see some of us candidates talking enthusiastically about Mars One on local television, that’s us trying to get people excited about it. We’re people who might have dreamed of going into space but didn’t think it would really be possible with our resumes. On paper, we really don’t look like people who would make good astronauts. However, Mars One isn’t looking for the stereotypical astronaut. They’re looking for colonists, the kind of pioneer who doesn’t mind the idea of heading off into the frontier and maybe never coming back. The people who can fly up to the International Space Station knowing they’re coming back in a few months are obviously brilliant, courageous, and deserve to be about as famous as Chris Hadfield has become. But it takes an entirely different kind of person to consider going farther from Earth than anyone has ever been and never coming back.

Which means we’re going to be on the front pages of the newspapers, but we know that we can’t do it without people willing to work behind the scenes. Are we a pack of dreamers? Sure we are, but we are dreamers who are really serious about making this happen. So look out for the legitimate Mars One media blitz that will happen once we start reaching the advanced rounds of selection even if you decide not to get in on those cool Mars One collectibles while they’re still cheap. That’s when things get exciting. Just by watching us, you’ll be part of a wide audience that will help make Mars One happen.

Some Cool Mars Items To Check Out