The candidates for the four seats on board the non-profit Mars colony mission, Mars One, are down to the final 100. The latest round of cuts on Tuesday reduced the pool from 660 candidates, a process which began with 200,000 applicants three years ago.
The Mars One mission aims to be the first manned mission to the Red Planet, sending four settlers hurtling through space on a one-way journey. The expedition aims to launch by 2025.
Once the first four colonists are established on Mars – living in hermetically sealed habitat pods, with greenhouses and rovers at their disposal – Mars One plans further missions, adding to the colonists’ numbers every few years.
The 100 finalists have been picked from all over the globe, with 39 from the American continents, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. The selection was narrowed following interviews with Mars One’s Chief Medical Officer Norbert Craft, who assessed candidates for team spirit, motivation, and risk management.
Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp says that he wants to pick the final four through a televised reality competition, with advertising generated from the show going towards the cost of the mission.