Mars One, the Netherlands-based organization that seeks to establish the first permanent colony on the Red Planet, has made recent headlines as it continues to sort through its pool of applicants. In the most recent round of selections, 660 remaining candidates have finally been narrowed down to 100.
Beginning as early as 2024, Mars One will send four people, two men and two women, every two years to the Red Planet. To many thrill-seekers, this sounds like the adventure of lifetime – that is, until they learn that it’s a one-way ticket.
Even so, nearly 200,000 people have willingly decided to participate in the $5.9 billion (￡3.9 billion) expedition. The applications were open to anyone over the age of 18; ideal candidates, however, were selected based on their state of physical and mental health, their level of intelligence and creativity and most importantly, their overall dedication to the cause.
After all, according to Norbert Kraft, Mars One’s chief medical officer, “Even the astronauts on the International Space Station switch out every couple of months and go back home to family.”
“In our case, the astronauts will live together in a group for the rest of their lives,” he stated in an interview with The Post in January.
On top of this, the selected individuals must go through years of training, which will condition them to live in confined quarters for the 7-8 month long flight. Colonists must also live in solar powered, and oxygen producing settlements – each 150-square-foot in size.
The most recent round of eliminations, which narrowed down the pool from 660 candidates to 100, was comprised of a series of interviews, conducted by Kraft.
Of the remaining 50 men and 50 women, 38 reside in the US, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. After the United States, the next-most represented countries are Canada and Australia – each with seven hopefuls in the ranking.
The oldest applicant is 60-year-old Reginald George Foulds of Toronto. In regards to education, 13 are currently in school, 19 have no degree, two have associates, 27 have bachelors, 30 have masters, four have medical degrees, seven have PhDs and one has a law degree.