Mars One Announces 1,058 People Advance to Round 2 to Earn a One-Way Trip to Mars
Mars One, the company with the ambitious plan to colonize Mars with a group of people willing to take a one-way ride to the Red Plant, announced Monday that 1,058 out of more than 200,000 volunteers have made it to the second round of the application process.
Bas Lansdorp, the Dutch entrepreneur spearheading the non-profit expedition, announced his plans to colonize Mars in 2012 and earlier this year the operation began accepting video applications from people around the world to become the first inhabitants on Mars.
Applicants had to submit one-minute videos explaining why they want to go to Mars, along with an assessment of their sense of humor and an explanation to the world of why they would make a good candidate.
In April Lansdorp said he expected one million applications and expressed hope that some of the videos would go viral. The total number of applications for Round 1 was 202,586 - well short of Lansdorp's expected million.
But that only about 200,000 applications were submitted may have been a boon to those responsible fro screening the video for eligible candidates, as some of the videos were reportedly not suitable for work.
"We're extremely appreciative and impressed with the sheer number of people who submitted their applications. However, 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. We even had a couple of applicants submit their videos in the nude!" Lansdorp said in a statement Monday.
As the selection process for those making it to the second round continued, expect to see the process on television. Mars One said it is currently in the process of negotiating the broadcasting rights to the next phase of the project, which will likely take the format of a reality television series.
"The next several selection phases in 2014 and 2015 will include rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates. We expect to begin understanding what is motivating our candidates to take this giant leap for humankind. This is where it really gets exciting for Mars One, our applicants, and the communities they're a part of," said Dr. Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer for Mars One.
Lansdorp said the next phase of the Mars One project should be televised starting in 2014.
"We fully anticipate our remaining candidates to become celebrities in their towns, cities, and in many cases, countries. It's about to get very interesting," he said.
According to a report by Popular Science, the demographic breakdown of the 1,058 applicants selected for Round 2 are as follows:
55 percent male, 45 percent female
63 percent hold a bachelor's degree
3 percent hold a medical degree
43 percent of the applicants come from the Americas, 27 percent from Europe, 21 percent from Asia, 5 percent from Africa and 4 percent from Oceania
34 percent are younger than 25 years old, 65 percent are between 26 and 55, and 2 percent are older than 55
There are 107 countries represented by the Round 2 applicants, with the US making up the largest percentage of the applicants' home nation.