Mars One, the private mission that hopes to take the first humans to Mars, has announced the 100 candidates that have made it through to the project’s third round. Just under half of those remaining will go into training for a Mars mission funded by a reality TV show, the company behind it hopes.
The remaining contestants will now go through selections rounds that “will focus on composing teams that can endure all the hardships of a permanent settlement on Mars”, the project says. They will be trained in a copy of the Mars outpost, and will be tested on their suitability for working in a team.
Eventually, 40 candidates will be chosen to train properly for the mission. They will go through an eight-year long process before viewers of the reality TV show vote for the final crew in 2025, which will be made up of four people.
The mission then hopes to send four-person crews every two years, meaning that eventually there will be 40 people on the planet.
Funds from the TV show will help pay for the mission, which is projected to cost about £4 billion.
“The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars,” Bas Lansdorp, co-founder & CEO of Mars One, said in a statement. “These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”
The project has published a full list of the 100 remaining contestants on its website. They are made up of 50 men and 50 women who passed the third round of tests — successfully getting through interviews with the mission’s chief medical officer.
The list includes high profile candidates such as Maggie Lieu, an English PhD student who has become one of the more famous of the 100 remaining candidates.
Lieu has said that while she would be upset to leave her family behind, the fact that she could continue to speak with them over the internet will be enough. The crew will spend ten years together preparing for the mission, which should be enough time to form new friends and family, she said.
Asked by Newsbeat whether she would like to have a baby on Mars, Lieu said: "I'm very open to having a baby on Mars. I think it would be really exciting to be the mother of the first ever baby born there.
"My baby could be the first ever Martian, we'd be the Adam and Eve of Mars.
"But I'm also pretty aware there are a lot of risks involved because you don't know what the gravitational effects are."
The 100 contestants were whittled down from 202,586 original applicants. Chief medical officer Norbert Kraft reduced the 660 remaining candidates to 100.
Where to explore in the solar system
Where to explore in the solar system
1/10 Mars - Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the Solar System. At 22km high Olympus Mons is nearly three times as high as Mt Everest
2/10 Mars - Mount Sharp
Mount Sharp is the current focus point of the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover. Sitting at the forefront of Martian research this location will hopefully unlock the secrets of Mars’s past.
3/10 Ida and Dactyl
Nestled deep within the asteroid belt is the asteroid 243 Ida. During a fly by of the Galileo space probe it was discovered that Ida had a companion. Orbiting around Ida was a tiny moon that was named Dactyl.
4/10 Jupiter - The Red Spot
Getting tired of leisurely cruises through the Caribbean? Why not float a dirigible through one of the oldest known storms in the Solar System. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is large enough to contain three Earths and has been present for over 300 years.
5/10 Moon - Sea of Tranquility
As the landing site of the first ever humans to set foot on the Moon who wouldn’t want to walk in the footsteps on Neil Armstrong on the Sea of Tranquility?
6/10 Europa - Underwater seas
Europa’s underwater seas are one of the strongest candidates for potential life outside Earth. Scientists are waiting the day we can probe their icy depths.
7/10 Titan - Methane Lakes
Saturn’s Moon Titan is home to a nice thick atmosphere. Similar to the Earth it supports a full weather cycle. Unlike the Earth, rather than using water, Titan’s cycle is based on methane, often found in gas cookers here on Earth.
8/10 Mimas, the Death Moon
What better location for a holiday snap. The large Herschel crater on Mimas gives this moon an appearance of a certain dark lords ultimate weapon. When viewed from the right angle it appears that the Death Star is in orbit around Saturn.
The thick clouds of Venus make it an extremely mysterious place. It also has some of the most extreme weather we can find. Runaway greenhouse gases have shrouded the planet in a thick layer of cloud, heating it to nearly 600°C. It is also home to sulphuric acid rain and crushing atmospheric pressure. Make sure you pack a sturdy umbrella!
10/10 Oceans of Earth
One of the most unexplored places in the Solar System is our own oceans. 70% of the Earth is covered in ocean and as of yet we have only explored around 10% of them. With so much water to explore who knows what we may find lurking in the depths.
The list is made up of 39 people from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, seven from Africa and seven from Oceania.
Those candidates that weren’t selected will be able to apply again in 2015.