Mars One: final 100 candidates selected for reality TV show-funded mission to red planet

Mars One has published a list of the 100 on their website

Andrew Griffin
Monday 16 February 2015 13:09
An artist’s impression of how the Mars One settlement will look
An artist’s impression of how the Mars One settlement will look

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.

An artist’s impression of the Mars One colony on the Red Planet where 20 people are expected to live. About 200,000 people applied for the planned one-way trip to Mars in 2025

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.

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.

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