The Mars One shortlist is out, and sadly, most were disappointed. Out of over 200,000 applicants seeking to take part in a 2025 mission to colonize Mars, only 1,000 or so were selected. From that pool, ultimately only two dozen able bodied guys and gals will be tapped to rocket 34 million miles (at its closest orbit) into space – a journey that would take at least five months.
Reuters via MSN News on Friday said the whole mission will be funded by – what else but – reality television.
“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,” mission co-founder and Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp said.
As the video showed, one hopeful was interviewed, an electrical engineer who so movingly pointed out: “We can’t get anywhere until we’ve gotten somewhere.” Not as good as the iconic “One small step...” thing, but I guess we’ll take it.
In the video, the potential Mars astronaut pointed out that electrical engineers are said to be unsocial, and that she wants to “get out there” to debunk that. As well as the whole honored space exploration thing. Couldn’t she just learn to ballroom dance and accomplish the same goal of proving herself a social butterfly? But I digress.
She also added that she would have a baby on Mars if “science required it of her.” I’m guessing that she wasn’t chosen.
“We selected people for the most important skill: their ability to function in a team," said Lansdorp. "The reason it’s the most important skill is because they’re leaving the planet forever, and they’re leaving on a team, and the members of the team depend on them for their survival.”
The selectees include men and women from 107 countries, with most coming from the U.S. Nearly 300 candidates are from the U.S., 75 are from Canada, and 62 are from India.
The mission has the attention, and technical backing, of NASA, Lansdorp reports.
Industry experts, including former NASA engineers and a member of the NASA Advisory Council, will be advising the mission throughout its advancement. After the final team is in place, members will begin training as full-time salaried employees of Mars One.
“The training will likely happen in the U.S. and the candidates will be like any other expat in the country," Lansdorp said, referring to those from countries outside the U.S. "Hopefully they’ll be able to bring their families over, too. This will be like any other job, except the goal of the job is more ambitious.”
Of course, the project has its skeptics – lots of them.
"I respect their interest and wish them well, but I really just don't take them seriously," John Spencer, the founder of the Space Tourism Society, told ABC News. "You need billions of dollars to do a Mars mission."
Head over to Mars-One.com for more mission critical info.
If you in fact made the list, I would love to hear from you. Leave your comments below.