$500,000 for the chance to build a new civilisation on Mars? I'm going to start saving up my pocket money (and maybe retrain as a chemical engineer).
In practical terms, the confluence between people rich enough to contribute funding, appropriately skilled, fit and mentally stable, the right age, and willing to leave everything behind seems a tricky one. But not impossible.
You can see why NASA has given Musk a shot at human spaceflight. He makes a great rocket but, more than that, he has the old vision in him. He is a revivalist, for those of us who still buy into cosmic manifest destiny. And he can preach. He says we are doomed if we stay here. He says we will suffer fire and brimstone, and even extinction. He says we should go with him, to that darkest and most treacherous of shores. He promises a miracle.