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Saudi Cleric Forbids Muslims From Traveling to Mars

A SAUDI sheikh has issued a fatwa against anyone wanting to travel to Mars.

A member Saudi Arabia's board of religious scholars Sheikh Ali al Hemki has criticised the Mars One project which is attempting to organise a commercial mission to the red planet and has drawnexpressions of interest from more than 200 thousand people worldwide.

The Ah Hayat newspaper quotes him as saying the mission does not conform to "responsible Muslim" practices.

"These experiments will lead to the destruction of those who try," and so should be done with animals, not people," he said.

"Believers should not should throw themselves into their own hands into perdition. "

While 477 Saudi citizens have applied for the mission, only six have so far been accepted.

The Mars One project aims to create the first human settlement on the Solar System's second-smallest planet.

More than 2500 Australians have applied for the one-way trip to Mars, which will double as a reality TV show.

The audience will vote for which teams they want on Mars first. Mars One says broadcasting rights and sponsorship will predominantly fund the $6 billion project, which will start training successful applicants in 2015.

Successful applicants will have to say goodbye to Earth forever, with the first crew of four people expected to launch into space for their seven months journey to Mars in 2022.


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