We all remember the hype which was started when Mars One claimed that it will be entertaining those who wish to get settled on Mars. The idea seemingly preposterous but still managed to gain popularity among the people. The applications were accepted until August 2013 and reached a total of 200,000 applications. That’s a huge number, no? But guess what, after the scrutiny carried out by Mars One, the number of successful applicants has dropped to 1,058. The non-profit organization came up with the idea of sending people on a one way trip to Mars and announced on Monday that the applicants have been reduced to 1,058, the shortlisted ones notified via email. The organization also stated that the next selection phase is bound to reduce the numbers even more. These settlers are supposed to go to Mars in 2025.
The applications opened in April, 2012 and before they were closed in August 2013, Mars One had received 200,000 applications, a little short on their own target of half million. But now after screening the applications, only 1,058 have been selected. The selection criteria were made up of health, emotional and psychological stability, adaptability, curiosity, trust and capability to trust, resilience, resourcefulness and creativity. However, Mars One has stated in a press release that those who have been rejected are eligible to apply again, as to when that can be done remains a secret.
Bas Lansdorp, founder of Mars One, said; ‘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!’
As per Norbert Kraft, Chief MO of Mars One, the following phases of selection which will take place this year and in 2015 are going to be much more difficult and rigorous. He said; ‘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.’
The whole idea can be questioned and debated upon, are we moving to a future like the one depicted in Wall-E, are we giving up on Earth or are we simply exploring?!