More than 1,000 aspiring astronauts are closer to booking a one-way mission to Mars


Mars One hopes to have astronauts colonize the Red Planet by 2025. Arist depiction by Bryan Versteeg/Mars One

Of the 200,000 applicants hoping to become the first pioneers of Mars, 1,058 are closer to their dream.

The non-profit foundation Mars One announced Tuesday their shortlist of candidates for the first human settlement on the Red Planet by 2025.

“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,” Mars One co-founder Bas Landsdorp said, according to a Mars One statement. The next step for the aspiring astronauts will be rigorous simulations to test candidates’ physical and emotional capabilities. The number of applicants will be whittled down to a final list of 24.

Reuters reported Thursday that of the applicants who have made it through the second round 297 are American, 75 are Canadian and 62 are Indian.

In December, Mars One commissioned Lockheed Martin to build a landing module for an unmanned test flight to Mars that’s scheduled for 2018.

Among the mission’s skeptics, NASA chief engineer Brian Muirhead said last August that a Mars mission like that proposed by Mars One is “way beyond our capability to do today.” Safely landing the Mars Curiosity rover was already an intricate challenge. And according to Muirhead, adding humans to the equation would complicate the prospect further.

You can view applicants’ profiles and the criteria for selected applicants on Mars One’s website.