Today I am on my way to New York City, where I will be serving as the moderator for Mars One's first press briefing. I'll let Mars One explain who they are and what they are trying to accomplish:
Mars One is a not-for-profit organization that will take humanity to Mars in 2023, to establish the foundation of a permanent settlement from which we will prosper, learn, and grow. Before the first crew lands, Mars One will have established a habitable, sustainable settlement designed to receive astronauts every two years. To accomplish this, Mars One has developed a precise, realistic plan based entirely upon existing technologies. It is both economically and logistically feasible, in motion through the integration of existing suppliers and experts in space exploration.
A vision for the Mars One project, whose goal is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2023.
Tomorrow's press briefing is at 9:00 PDT / noon EDT / 1600 UTC and will contain an announcement about its astronaut selection program. There's a hint as to what this is about on their homepage:
We invite you to participate in this journey, by sharing our vision with your friends, by supporting our effort and, perhaps, by becoming the next Mars astronaut yourself.
I've embedded the webcast player below. Here is who will be on the panel:
Bas Lansdorp, Co-Founder and CEO, Mars One
Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel laureate and Ambassador of Mars One
Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer, Mars One
Grant Anderson, Sr. VP Operations, Chief Engineer and Co-Founder, Paragon Space Development Corporation
Bryan Versteeg, Mission Concept Artist, Mars One
Media who are not present can ask questions via Twitter; I'm not sure yet whether they want to use a hashtag for that or if you're just supposed to @mention them on Twitter (they are MarsOneProject).
You may be wondering what The Planetary Society has to do with Mars One. We are not a sponsor, but we wish them well. We are delighted to see so many privately funded organizations setting their sights on sending humans to space, and we hope that they will succeed.