The Mars One project has announced the final 100 candidates for a one-way ticket to Mars with seven Australians making the cut.
The non-profit organisation Mars One announced in 2012 its plans to send 24 candidates to the red planet. A final 24 individuals will be selected to make up six crews of four, landing on Mars every two years from 2023, with the intention of starting a colony. The company claimed it had received over 200,000 applications worldwide to undertake the one-way trip to the red planet.
For the project to launch, Dutch entrepreneur and co-founder Bas Lansdorp will need at least $7.7 billion. They intend to raise the money mostly through the sponsorship from a Dutch reality TV series documenting the project. Last November the company raised an unconfirmed estimate of $630,000.
Among the 100 shortlisted are seven Australians willing to take the seven to nine month journey to Mars. The selected Australians were chosen after a series of interviews with the project’s chief medical officer, Norbert Kraft. Nineteen-year-old Sare Teah, stand-up comedian Josh Richards and geoscientist Electra Navarone are the among the Australian finalists.
The candidates were selected based on their “understanding of the risks involved, team spirit and their motivation to be part of this life changing expedition,” according to a statement released by the organisation.
Australian applicant Josh Richards told Channel Ten’s The Project: “I would go in an absolute heartbeat… I’m very very exited about the prospect of it all coming together.”
However, the project has come under scrutiny from the scientific community, with the idea being labelled unrealistic, underfunded and too ambitious. It has even been described as a suicide mission. A study by the Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT) claimed supplies would only last on the red planet for 66 days, with worries crop growing would cause a dangerous increase in oxygen levels, causing the settlement to become highly flammable.
The Newsroom approached some of the Australians selected for the Mars One project, but they did not wish to comment.
The list of 100 candidates will be cut to just 24 by the middle of this year. – Kayla Burke
Top screenshot from the Mars One Project introduction on Youtube.