One-way trip to Mars attracts over 200,000 applicants worldwide
By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor
A non-profit organization with the objective of starting a human colony on Mars by 2025 has revealed a shortlist of just over 1,000 would-be space travellers out of the more than 200,000 applications received.
Mars One, the non-profit program, was co-founded by Dutch billionaire Bas Lansdorp and is funded through sponsorships and donations. The group also has a strategy to raise funds to put together the $6-billion necessary to make this project a reality.
Funds will be generated from a crowd-funding campaign, as well as the sale of broadcasting rights, and a reality show that will be aired to select the final candidates to go to the red planet.
Mars One proposes a one-way manned spaceflight to Mars for the purposes of establishing a human colony. Missions to Mars are expected to commence in 2016, when supplies would start being sent out. At this time, three to four supply missions are scheduled before the first colonists would be sent to Mars in 2022.
Applicants have been vetted and the shortlist contains 1,058 applicants, all of whom have submitted video essays revealing why they should be selected for the journey. The shortlisted candidates will now undergo a series of physical and medical exams, knowledge testing, and other exercises so that the project can narrow the list to 40 prospective astronauts.
Once the 40 candidates have been selected, the project plans on narrowing the field further through a reality show that is to be aired online. The program expects to select 24 candidates, which would compose six teams of four.
The flight to Mars would take approximately 10 months and the first crew would be expected to arrive sometime in 2023. Their mission is to build the settlement using materials already on the planet supplied by previous unmanned missions.
Seventy-five Canadians made it past the first round.
Application criteria for the Mars One program was very inclusive. Applicants had to be over 18 years of age, apply in any of the 11 most commonly spoken languages on the Internet, and be willing to leave Earth for good. Candidates will essentially move to Mars and die there.