September 10, 2013
Applications For Martian Settlement Program Pass 200,000
[ Watch the Video: All Applications In For One-way Trip To Mars ]
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Mars One said that its Astronaut Selection Program has now closed for applications, but in the five months it was open it received interest from 202,586 people from over 140 countries. The organization noted earlier that it had received over 78,000 applications in just the first two weeks of its 19-week campaign.
Twenty-four percent of the applications the organization received were from the United States, followed by India with ten percent. Another chunk of people wishing to go to the Red Planet were from China, Brazil, Great Britain, Canada, Russia and Mexico.
“Applicants we have received come from a very wide range of personalities, professions and ages. This is significant because what we are looking for is not restricted to a particular background. From Round 1 we will take forward the most committed, creative, resilient and motivated applicants,” said Dr. Norbert Kraft, Mars One Chief Medical Officer.
The organization said the next step of the application process is for the Mars One Selection Committee to select prospective Martian settlers in three additional rounds spread across two years. Round two, beginning in 2014, will require candidates to get a medical statement of good health from their physician. Applicants will also be meeting with the Mars One Selection Committee, which will determine who will be passing on to the next round.
The third round is the regional selection round, during which 20 to 40 applications will be participating in challenges that demonstrate their suitability to become one of the first humans on Mars. Fourth round applicants will be required to demonstrate their ability to live in harsh living conditions, and work together under difficult circumstances. The groups will receive their first short term training in a copy of the Mars outpost.
Mars One said that by 2015 six groups of four will become full time employees of the Mars One astronaut corps, after which they will begin to train for their mission. By 2023, one of the six teams will become the first humans to ever land on Mars and live there for the rest of their lives.
The organization said that it will begin regular recruitment programs to search for follow-up crews in the future. The plan is to send a new group of humans to the Red Planet every two years after 2023.
“Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I'm proud that this is exactly what we see happening," Bas Lansdorp, Mars One Co-Founder and CEO, said in a statement.