LAURA CARTLEDGE: It’s a mission of a lifetime, but I don’t now think I’m on board...

CALL ME a wimp, but this ‘one-way ticket to Mars’ talk has got me a little nervous.

Not least because, when I went to find out more information, I discovered the website was down.

I wouldn’t get on a spaceship made by people who can’t even work the internet.

And that is just one of my many, many, excuses.

It’s all very pioneering stuff, there’s no doubt about that.

In fact it is the kind of conversation which makes you want to adopt the hiker’s pose – a foot perched high on a rock, eyes focused on the future.

I even get the ‘we are all going to die, but it’s important what you do before you die’ sentiment that one of the possible candidates expressed.

Before they went on to explain they haven’t told their mum yet.

There’s a fine line between selfish and selfless.

You could argue such actions are for humanity.

A sacrifice.

One step equals a giant leap for mankind.

And you’d be right.

But there’s also a point where it is for the person involved.

It’s not for their family, their friends...

Leaving everything you know for an experiment which will, in the end at the least, cost your life, is on the bonkers side of brave if you ask me.

Exploration is important.

I think the search for more knowledge is the most noble quest.

However, part of me wonders if it is another case of solving problems which can wait while we overlook more urgent matters closer to home?

Even on the shortlist of 100, less than a quarter will take to the sky.

The hope is that six crews of four will be launched towards the Red Planet at two-year intervals from 2024.

Who knows what advancements that time will bring. But if Back to the Future is anything to go by, we might be trying to run before we can spacewalk.