Across the globe, 1058 hopefuls have been selected as candidates to begin human life on Mars in 2025.
On Dec. 30, Mars One announced the selection of the candidates from the applicant pool of over 200,000 hoping to establish human life on Martian soil. Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp describes the remaining 1058 candidates as our first tangible glimpse into what the new human settlement will truly look like.
Lansdorp said: “We’re extremely appreciative and impressed with the sheer number of people who submitted their applications. However, the challenge with 200,000 applicants is separating those who we feel are physically and mentally adept to become human ambassadors on Mars from those who are obviously taking the mission much less seriously. We even had a couple of applicants submit their videos in the nude!”
Selection criteria is outlined in detail on the Mars One website at www.mars-one.com/faq/selection-and-preparation-of-the-astronauts/what-are-the-qualifications-to-apply. All applicants were notified today via e-mail of their application status. For the applicants who were not selected in this round, there is still a chance they could reapply at a later date, which has not yet been determined. According to Lansdorp, the chance for reapplication provides hope. “U.S. astronaut Clayton Anderson was rejected by NASA for its astronaut training program 15 times, yet in 2007 he boarded the Space Shuttle Atlantis for a trip to the International Space Station. He proved anything can happen and the door is never completely closed,” he said.
So what’s next for the 1058 pre-selected Mars hopefuls? Norbert Kraft, M.D., chief medical officer of Mars One and recipient of the 2013 NASA Group Achievement Award said: “The next several selection phases in 2014 and 2015 will include rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates. We expect to begin understanding what is motivating our candidates to take this giant leap for humankind. This is where it really gets exciting for Mars One, our applicants, and the communities they’re a part of.”
Details of the 2014 selection phases have not been agreed upon due to ongoing negotiations with media companies for the rights to televise the selection processes. Expect further information to be released in early 2014. Lansdorp says, “We fully anticipate our remaining candidates to become celebrities in their towns, cities, and in many cases, countries. It’s about to get very interesting.”
This announcement comes on the heels of a wild finish to 2013 for Mars One. On Dec. 10, Mars One launched their first ever crowd-funding campaign, focused on bringing funds and attention to the first mission, an unmanned trip to Mars scheduled for 2018. On the same day as the crowd-funding campaign launch, Mars One announced in Washington, D.C., agreements with aerospace titan Lockheed Martin and the world’s leading small satellite company Surrey Satellite Technology to develop mission plans for the 2018 mission. 2014 figures to be even busier for the team at Mars One than 2013, with multiple applicant selection phases, worldwide education events, and more.