8th May 2013
78,000 sign up for one-way mission to Mars
Just two weeks into the 19 week application period, more than 78,000 people have applied to the Mars One astronaut selection program in the hope of becoming a settler in 2023.
Mars One has received applications from over 120 countries. Most come from the United States (17324), followed by China (10241), the United Kingdom (3581), Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and India.
Bas Lansdorp, Mars One Co-Founder and CEO: "With seventy-eight thousand applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history. These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants."
"Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I'm proud that this is exactly what we see happening," he said.
As part of the application, every candidate is required to explain his/her motivation behind their decision go to Mars in a one minute video. Many applicants are choosing to publish this video on the Mars One website. These are openly accessible on applicants.mars-one.com.
"Applicants we have received come from a very wide range of personalities, professions and ages. This is significant because what we are looking for is not restricted to a particular background. From Round 1, we will take forward the most committed, creative, resilient and motivated applicants," said Dr. Norbert Kraft, Mars One Chief Medical Officer.
Mars One will continue to receive online applications until 31st August 2013. From all the applicants in Round 1, regional reviewers will select around 50-100 candidates for Round 2 in each of the 300 geographic regions in the world that have been identified.
Four rounds make the selection process, which will come to an end in 2015; Mars One will then employ 28-40 candidates, who will train for around 7 years. Finally, an audience vote will elect one of the groups in training to become the envoys of humanity to Mars.