We thought it was a gimmick.

We thought it was just a clever marketing ploy gone viral, designed to reignite public interest in a stagnant space programme.

We entered our names, received our virtual "boarding passes" and maybe shared our achievement on social networks.

Then we thought nothing more of it.

Until the soldiers came.

4am. The crash of doors being kicked in and the echo of screams as we were forcibly removed from our homes, from our loved ones.

I keep replaying that moment, over and over - not knowing what was happening, not knowing if I'd ever see my family again.

And now I know I won't.

Beagle 2.

The list goes on. Why do you think so many missions to Mars fail?

Dust storms? Out of fuel? Burnt up on entry? More like sabotaged or shot down. That's right. Shot. Down.

NASA has been on Mars for years and any probe, orbiter or lander that threatened to reveal that presence is destroyed.

It sounds like something out of a poor science fiction movie but they say that truth is stranger than fiction.

The Earth is dying. Not the long term irreversible climate change death that the eco-lobbyists warn us of but a cataclysmic failure.

They tried to explain it to us: something about a sudden reversal of the magnetic poles and unavoidable stresses to the Earth's crust caused by extreme turmoil in the mantle.

Gaia, our home, was literally going to tear herself apart and there was nothing we could do about it.

They'd been planning for this, built huge space faring "arks" hidden behind the moon. Orion was a front.

They'd known since the 50's when the results of nuclear tests revealed that such an event would occur within 75 years. Something happened and the timetable just got brought forward a decade.

So now hundreds of thousands of us, selected in no more scientific way than applying for a virtual boarding pass on a website, would be the saviours of humanity.

It would be more than our names going to Mars.