One thousand and fifty eight people have been selected to start trying out to be selected for a planned trip to the planet Mars by the organization Mars One, with the aim of establishing a permanent human settlement there by 2024.
Over 200,000 applicants had tried to get into the first phase of testing but were weaned out before the nonprofit organization whittled it down to these last few successful candidates.
There are still many selection tests to be performed on the selected applicants before they can begin to prepare for their planned one-way trip to Mars in 10 years time.
Apparently one of the most contributing factors to being selected to go for further testing was that the candidates showed the ability to work closely together as team members, according to the Mars One selection committee who started reviewing applicants this last April.
Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One said that once their journey begins, the applicants will never return to Earth and they will spend the rest of their lives depending on one another, so teamwork is vital for all successful applicants.
The final selection of applicants includes almost 300 from the United States, 75 from Canada and 62 from India, although the total number is made up of men and women from 107 countries around the globe.
Although the 1,058 applicants have made it through the first selection stage, there are many more challenges facing them in the second selection tests. They have been advised to start saying their goodbye’s to their family and friends in case they make it to the final few who will be selected for the once in a lifetime journey.
The final 24 successful candidates, who will begin to leave the Earth in 2024, will have passed several stressful tests to see how they function as part of a team in areas like engineering, medical and botanical fields.
According to Lansdorp, the final applicants need to be “very healthy, have good track records of health or no inheritable diseases, and one of the most important things is to actually test their ability to function in an isolated environment.”
However, the final success of the planned Mars mission still depends on financial backing from investors. John Spencer, founder of the Space Tourism Society said that until they get the backing he is reserving his thoughts for their chance of success. “You need billions of dollars to do a Mars mission,” he added.