Want to be a space colonist? Get your application in soon! Mars One is looking for recruits to become the first colonists on the red planet, and the deadline for the Mars One application is Aug. 31. More than 165,000 people have already applied to be among the first Mars colonists in a proposed trip scheduled for 2023.
The noble mission to create a colony on Mars does have one rather big catch: Those selected can never return to Earth. Mars One will whittle down the number of applicants in a series of stages before selecting 24 colonists who will go to Mars. The 24 Mars One colonists will be divided into six groups of four, with departures spaced out every two years.
The first round requires would-be colonists to fill out an application, provide a video response to several questions, and submit a letter explaining why you want to go to Mars and participate in the mission. The second phase, for those selected, will include passing a physical and being interviewed by a member of the Mars One selection committee. The third phase will separate candidates into national groups where they will train and live in conditions similar to those they will face on Mars. Teamwork and the ability to adapt to life on an alien planet will be crucial for any volunteer looking to become a Mars One astronaut.
The application is open to everyone, and Mars One does not have an established criterion for potential candidates, opting to look for character and potential rather than those with experience flying jets or with medical training. Dr. Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer of Mars One, said in a statement, “It’s easily assumed that Mars One is only looking for pilots and engineers. Don't disqualify yourself too easily. If you wish to be a Mars pioneer despite the risks and challenges that come with this job, you're already more qualified than most people on this planet. It's most important that you are healthy and smart and have the right mindset.”
Applicants must be over 18 and have command of the English language, as it will be the official language of the program. Those wanting to apply for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity should apply here.
The applications received by Mars One showcase the appeal of space travel. According to Mars One, 23 percent of applicants are from the United States, followed by China, Brazil, India, Russia and the U.K. Mars One CEO and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement, “The cultural diversity of Mars One applicants reflects the international nature of this project and ultimately makes it humanity's mission to Mars.”
The next rounds of crew selection will last until 2015 when Mars One colonists will begin training. The first demo mission, providing proof of concept, will launch by 2016 with scheduled launches for a rover, cargo and operational outposts scheduled for 2018, 2020 and 2021, respectively. The first crew mission will begin in 2022 and the first Mars One colonists are expected to reach Mars by 2023. The second crew will depart Earth in 2024.
A trailer, "One Way Astronaut," detailing the Mars One mission, can be viewed below.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.