The key to successful survival on Mars is a very careful selection procedure. There are many people who would not be suitable for a Mars mission, especially for settlement in the first few years, when the colony is still small. However, not everyone is alike.
Not everyone who reads this would have applied for a position on the team with intrepid South Pole explorer Ernest Shackleton in the early 1900s. This was the announcement:
"Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, and bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in case of success."
Despite the ominous tone of the ad, the response was overwhelming.
Mars One will carefully select the crew for a number of skills and qualities. They will be people who have dreamt their whole life of going to Mars, and in many case will have pursued careers that increase the odds of being selected for this kind of mission. The selected team will be very smart, skilled, mentally stable and very healthy. They will go to Mars to live their dream.
On Mars, they will be busy. They will improve the habitat and extend it with new units sent from Earth, and with local materials. They will do research – their own research, plus the gathering of data for the research of others (for example, universities). And they will prepare the settlement for the second crew that lands two years later. Every two years a new crew will arrive, such that the settlement will slowly become a small village, and an attractive place to live, for more and more people.
We have discussed our plan with experienced and respected psychologists. One of Mars One's team members is Dr. Norbert Kraft, who has worked on astronaut selection at NASA and JAXA. He wrote an interesting article on this topic in the Huffington Post together with one of Mars One's advisors Prof. Dr. Raye Kass: The Uncharted Territories of Mars: Is Science Enough?