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Mars One reduces applicant pool for colonists to 1058

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January 1, 2014

The pool of applicants for the Mars One mission has been reduced to 1,058

The pool of applicants for the Mars One mission has been reduced to 1,058

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And then there were 1,058. Mars One, the nonprofit organization that wants to send colonists on a one-way lifetime trip to Mars, announced on Monday that it has narrowed its applicant pool down from 200,000 people to just over a thousand. The applicants were notified by email and Mars One says that the next selection phase in 2014 will reduce the pool still further in the search for the first settlers to go to the Red Planet in 2025.

At first glance, the Mars One proposition seems like a 21st century take on Dr Samuel Johnson’s opinion of traveling by ship: It’s like being in a jail, with the chance of dying by explosive decompression. However, within two weeks of applications opening in April 2012, over 78,000 people applied to settle on Mars without a chance of returning to Earth. Though the applications never reached the anticipated half million mark, 200,000 did put their names in by the August 2013 cutoff.

The 1,058 remaining applicants were selected based on criteria that included health, psychological and emotional stability, resilience, adaptability, curiosity, ability to trust, creativity, and resourcefulness. In a press release, Mars One says that those applicants who did not make the cut may reapply at a later date, which is yet to be announced.

The first settlers are scheduled to arrive in 2025

“We’re extremely appreciative and impressed with the sheer number of people who submitted their applications.” says Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp.” 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!”

According to Norbert Kraft, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Mars One and recipient of the 2013 NASA Group Achievement Award, the next phase of selection will be more rigorous, though the details will depend on negotiations with media companies involved in the venture. “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.”

In addition to the colonist selection, Mars One recently announced that it is developing a Mars lander and orbiter as the vanguard to select a settlement area and prepare it in anticipation of the first arrivals scheduled for 2025.

Source: Mars One

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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9 Comments

Nice picture of all those habitats all nicely lined up and leveled. Gloss over the details much? How did they get that way?

DemonDuck
1st January, 2014 @ 08:11 pm PST

If this ever happens I'll eat my hat.

felix
2nd January, 2014 @ 12:24 am PST

@ felix, What goes best with hats, red or white wine?

YukonJack
2nd January, 2014 @ 12:02 pm PST

What exactly would one do to keep themselves occupied once you arrived on the surface of Mars? How would you keep from going stark raving mad? If somehow a domed city could be built with a radius of at least 1 mile or more and crops and trees could be grown under the dome then maybe it could be mentally manageable. Any one stuck inside a small capsule would be self assigning themselves to a miserable "worse than prison" type existence. Surely you would lose your mind to depression.

Buellrider
2nd January, 2014 @ 12:46 pm PST

i would think, the folk that go there, would be to busy, to go mad....

Kalides Evony
2nd January, 2014 @ 02:19 pm PST

DemonDuck, the second unmanned mission presently planned for 2020 will carry a workhorse rover that will retrieve and reposition landed capsules (http://www.mars-one.com/mission/roadmap)

YukonJack, you're right that not just anybody would be able to withstand the isolation. Mars One will have to select their team very carefully and stress test them with isolation over their 10 year training period. Given purpose and meaning, however, the human psyche is capable of extraordinary endurance. Take for example Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who spent nearly 30 years in isolation under the belief his country was still at war. He emerged from the experience well adjusted. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroo_Onoda)

Mars One will have to find their Hiroo Onodas.

Nick Kariya
2nd January, 2014 @ 03:30 pm PST

I for one would be quite happy to do this without going mad. I just had 16 days off work over the Christmas/New Years period and was quite able to keep myself busy at home by myself without going mad. I'm pretty sure I could keep myself busy on an establishing colony on Mars for a prolonged period without going mad!

ClubDoug
5th January, 2014 @ 05:34 am PST

There is the problem of age. Assuming the applicants are 18 or older by the time they arrive on Mars they will be approximately 28 or older. They will have to procreate as soon as they arrive to maintain the population and build diversity for offspring to procreate. Essentially it is the rebirth of a world with a limited gene pool. They will have to design a family map to ensure cross-breeding is held to a minimum for the next generations. They will need extremely knowledgeable chemists, engineers, teachers, and so forth. So many challenges to consider. I wish all those that venture good luck and Godspeed.

fsa0033
27th January, 2014 @ 02:44 am PST

They don't need the best of a specific field but more well rounded individuals that are more likely to survive. Communications is not severed so they will have ample support from the best minds earth can provide.

Andrew Wong
28th February, 2014 @ 02:07 pm PST
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