Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 5 May 2014 - Mars One announced that 353 hopefuls from around the world have been eliminated from the selection program to become the first human Mars colonists. The number of people remaining in this once in many lifetimes opportunity is now just 705.
The remaining candidates will be interviewed by the Mars One selection committee. Mars One Chief Medical Officer Norbert Kraft, MD says, “we’re incredibly excited to start the next phase of Round 2, where we begin to better understand our candidates who aspire to take such a daring trip. They will have to show their knowledge, intelligence, adaptability and personality.” Mars One is in negotiations with media companies to report on those interviews. Once the television deal is finalized and the interviews begin, the stories of the 705 aspiring Martians will be shared with the world.
In December 2013, Mars One announced the selection of 1058 candidates from the original pool of over 200,000 applicants. Mars One asked them to complete two tasks by March 2014: to provide a medical statement of health from their physician and open their online Mars One applicant profile to the public. The 418 men and 287 women who successfully completed both tasks will be invited for a personal interview. 313 candidates originally come from the Americas, 187 from Europe, 136 from Asia, 41 from Africa, and 28 from Oceania.
The group of candidates that will not continue to the interview round dropped out due to personal reasons and medical reasons. The withdrawals due to personal reasons were mostly in the age group 40-50. Candidates who had to withdraw from their dream due to medical reasons were mostly in the age group of 20-35. Mars One Chief Medical Officer Norbert Kraft, MD says, “what really left an impression with us is the fact that the medical tests turned out to have a major impact on the candidate's lives, as some of them found out that they needed to undergo an operation, were sick and needed medical attention, or even had a malignant form of cancer that otherwise would not have been detected in such an early stage."
After the interview round, the group of candidates will be narrowed down to several international teams consisting of two women and two men. These teams of prospective Mars settlers will be prepared for the mission by participating full time in an extensive training program. Training to go to Mars will be their full time job. Whole teams and individuals might be selected out during training when they prove not to be suitable for the mission. Mars One will repeat the selection process regularly to train additional teams to replace eliminated teams and crews of settlers that have successfully left Earth to live on Mars.
About Mars One
Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish permanent human life on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One’s mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations. It is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars.