Astronaut selection is launched worldwide
In April 2013, the Astronaut Selection Program is launched at press conferences in New York and Shanghai. Round 1 is an online application open to all nationalities. The selection program proceeds with three additional rounds over the course of two years.
At the end of it around six teams of four individuals are selected for training. A new batch of the Astronaut Selection Program begins every year to replenish the training pool regularly. An analogue of the Mars habitat is to be constructed on Earth for technology testing and training purposes.