Making Mars your home - dream becomes more real

Mars One plans to establish their first home base on Mars by 2025, and they have already had over a 1 000 applicants for the job as first martian dwellers.

The Dutch non-profit, run by Bas Landsdorp plans to touchdown on Mars in 2023, over the next two years the first group of hopefuls will establish the base and in 2025 the rest of the crew will arrive. Apart from the initial criteria such as intelligence, physical health and their intrapersonal skills, hopefuls will also have to undergo eight years of training before the launch.

The first round of applicants were asked to send in video tapes of themselves along with an essay. Applicants from around the world tried out and 297 accepted into the second round from the Unites States, 282 from Europe, 218 from Asia, 52 from Russian, 62 from India, and the remainder from parts of the Americas. Thus far, 45% of accepted applicants are female. If you didn’t have a chance to apply, never fear, as Landsdorp says he may open up the opportunity for more applicants in the future.

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 says, “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 December 10th, 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 DC, 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.

The question is - would you want to live on Mars?

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