The story started with the Mars One organisation, a Dutch non-profit that claims to be planning a 20-person colony on Mars. They plan to offset the cost of the mission by selling the reality TV rights. Around 200,000 people applied for the mission even though it is nowhere near the level of funding they would need to even get started. They have been widely criticised for charging people to apply to a mission that will almost certainly never launch, and will be a one-way mission if it ever does.
Experts like Chris Hadfield, whose stint in command of the International Space Station was made memorable by his cover of Space Oddity, have discussed its technical shortcomings. For a layman like me, the opportunity for satire was too good to miss, but then so is Space Oddity in freefall: