Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications for flights to Mars imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to build a community of settlers on the planet.
Feeling a surge of excitement, I phoned them.
"Thank you for calling Mars One," the operator said. "Can I take a name please?"
"Yes, it's Barbara Johnson."
"There's not many men called Barbara!" she joked.
"It's my wife's name," I explained patiently.