The Mars One foundation, a Dutch based non-profit group that plans to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars, has narrowed down 200,000 applications to 100. Americans make up 39 of the shortlisted candidates from 35 countries. These candidates will go on into further testing later this year where they can expect team-building exercises and tests in isolation.
Mars One says they hope to launch to the Red Planet every two years from 2024, with the aim of starting a colony there and make the process a reality TV show. Eventually, 24 space bound candidates from the 100 will be selected to make up six crews of four to be launched. Mars One is considering 50 men and 50 women for the first four spots on its anticipated Red Planet mission.The winners get a one-way ticket to Mars and are expected to start colonizing it. The space start up will film the entire selection process, training and the colonization for earthling viewers.
The American candidates include middle-aged engineers, Ph.D. candidates in their 30s and several contenders in their 20s. The ages of all the candidates range from 19 to 60. The United states has the most amateur astronauts in the running.
Felgentreff is an entrepreneur and vice president of a start-up organization outside San Francisco, and potential Mars colonizer. “I’ve always had a curiosity for all things science, especially when it comes to space exploration,” he says. Felgentreff is married and would be leaving his wife behind for the quest, “It’s a one-way ticket to anywhere. I would probably die on Earth if I stayed here too.” He said his wife shares his curiosity of combining, “humans with an element of risk and using technology to overcome those risks.”
“The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars,” said Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder & CEO of Mars One. “These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”