Mars One Narrows Down to 100 Hopefuls - Meet Some of the Fascinating Finalists
Mars One has narrowed down the shortlist to 100 hopefuls for their planned one-way trip to Mars. Twenty-four of these applicants will eventually be chosen to live, work, and die in the first Martian colony.
"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 and CEO of Mars One. "These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern-day explorers will be."
There were originally over 200,000 applicants for the project, although this shortlist was chosen from a smaller pool of 660 volunteers. The finalists come from all different backgrounds; there are 50 men and 50 women ranging from the ages of 20 and 61. They come from countries all over the world, specifically 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. And while there are many PhDs and MDs in the mix, they come from many different professional backgrounds, including students, entrepreneurs, a former Buddhist monk, and a stand-up comedian.
They will now be faced with a barrage of tests in order to determine which candidates will be best suited for the difficult conditions and hardships on Mars, particularly team-building exercises and training at the Mars Outpost on Earth. The final list of Mars One explorers will be determined by the end of this year.
But the question on everyone's mind is: what kind of person chooses to leave their home planet without any chance of returning to their homes or families? Here are the application videos of three of the most fascinating applicants to Mars One:
Etsuko, a 50-year-old from Japan, worked in computer science and IT before walking 7,500 km across Japan for charity, running for seven days in the Sahara desert, becoming an ascetic mountain priest, studying Japanese cuisine, and finally applying for Mars One. Her goal is to open the first sushi bar on Mars.
Ryan, a 21-year-old physics student at Oxford, was part of a moving feature from The Guardian on the applicants from the 660-strong list. He said he was motivated to apply for Mars One by his desire to leave a legacy, and also delved into more abstract psychological motivations, such as his father's abandonment when he was a child and his disavowal of a need for love or sex.
Maggie, a 24-year-old astrophysics student at Birmingham University, is interested in having the first Martian child.
"I think it would be really exciting to have a child [during the mission] because it would be the first real Martian," Lieu told the Independent. "I don't know what race or nationality it would be because there are no countries on Mars - yet. Nobody knows the effects low gravity would have on a fetus. Also, the high levels of radiation would make the guys infertile. So I don't know if it would work but if you want to start a colony, you have to reproduce."