Three volunteers are on the shortlist to be among four people on the Mars One programme, the first crewed space flight to Mars. This is also a one-way trip that’s 100% a suicide mission. A physics student in the UK, a fresh doctor from Mozambique and an Iraqi-American woman, all pleased to sacrifice their futures for a place in history. Why do they want to leave Earth permanently, and who are they leaving behind? As the list of possible Mars explorers is carved down further on 16 February, meet those challenging to be the first to land on Mars.