February 16, 2015 – From the initial 202,586 applicants, only 100 hopefuls have been selected to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process. These candidates are one step closer to becoming the first humans on Mars.
“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 & CEO of Mars One. “These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”
The Mars 100 Round Three candidates were selected from a pool of 660 candidates after participating in personal online interviews with Norbert Kraft, M.D., Chief Medical Officer. During the interviews the candidates had a chance to show their understanding of the risks involved, team spirit and their motivation to be part of this life changing expedition.
“We were impressed with how many strong candidates participated in the interview round, which made it a very difficult selection” said Dr. Norbert Kraft.
Who are the Mars 100 Round Three candidates?
There are 50 men and 50 women who successfully passed the second round. The candidates come from all around the world, namely 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. The complete list of Mars One candidates can be found here: Mars One Round Three Candidates.
What further challenges will these candidates face?
The following selection rounds will focus on composing teams that can endure all the hardships of a permanent settlement on Mars. The candidates will receive their first shot at training in the copy of the Mars Outpost on Earth and will demonstrate their suitability to perform well in a team.
“Being one of the best individual candidates does not automatically make you the greatest team player, so I look forward to seeing how the candidates progress and work together in the upcoming challenges.” said Dr. Norbert Kraft.
Candidates that were not selected to continue will have a chance to reapply in a new application round that will open in 2015. New application opportunities will follow in order to train candidates that can replace eliminated teams and join the crews of settlers that will leave Earth to live on Mars.
Mars One is expected to have a demonstration mission in 2018 that will provide proof of concept for some of the technologies that are important for a permanent human settlement on Mars; the ultimate goal of the non-profit Mars One foundation. They have contracted with Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to develop mission concept studies. The Mars lander will be built by Lockheed Martin and the communications satellite will be built by SSTL.
When Lockheed Martin and SSTL were chosen as suppliers in 2013, Lansdorp said, ““We’re very excited to have contracted Lockheed Martin and SSTL for our first mission to Mars. Both are significant players in their field of expertise and have outstanding track records. These will be the first private spacecraft to Mars and their successful arrival and operation will be a historic accomplishment.”
The Lockheed Martin lander will be based on the successful 2007 NASA Phoenix mission spacecraft and will demonstrate some of the technologies required for the manned mission. Lockheed Martin has a distinct legacy of participating in nearly every NASA mission to Mars. For the Phoenix mission, the company designed, built, tested and operated the lander for NASA.
The lander will have the ability to scoop up Martian soil with a robotic arm similar to the Phoenix mission. A water experiment will extract water from the Martian soil. A power experiment will demonstrate the deployment and operation of thin-film solar panels on the surface, and a camera on the lander will be used to make continuous video recordings.
The demonstration satellite will provide a high bandwidth communications system in a Mars synchronous orbit and will be used to relay data and a live video feed from the lander on the surface of Mars back to Earth.
Mars One hopes to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Crews of four will depart every two years, beginning in 2024.