The Dutch company Mars One announced on Monday that the 100 candidates remaining in the race to become the first colonists of Mars in over 10 years are preparing for the third phase of the selection according to aFP News agency. Mars One announced that their organization will bear the cost of this ambitious project by creating a global media event that will track the implementation stages of colonization of the Red Planet.
In this project – that has the ambition to finance itself from the sale of television rights – were initially recruited approximately 200,000 people from 140 countries. after two rounds of auditions their number was reduced to 100. The third phase of the competition will consist of tests aimed to verify people’s ability to work in teams. The competitors will be subjected to these tests overnfive days. Then only 40 people will remain in the competition. Norbert Kraft, the chief medical officer of Mars One and a member of the selection committee explained that the tests the participants will face can only be solved through teamwork. 90% of these tests were designed by NaSa specialists. The candidates will be selected according to several criteria: the ability to make decisions, the attitude when facing problems, the psychological state, the respect of the social norms and the behavior both during the competition and outside. after this, the 40 remaining candidates will be locked in an isolated environment and they will be interviewed. 24 of them will be selected to be prospective settlers and they will be divided into six groups of four people.
The colonists could be sent to Mars in 2026
The first four settlers in the program ‘Mars One’ will go to the Red Planet in 2026 and they will be followed by other teams of four settlers at intervals of 26 months. Without the opportunity to return to Earth, the four settlers will have to survive in tiny enclosures, will have to find wate and produce their own oxygen and cultivate food crops.
This project has not escaped controversy. In March last year, one of the finalists of the selection process, Joseph Roche, who is an astrophysicist at Trinity College from Dublin, revealed that the selection of future Mars colonists was a joke, and that the finalists were encouraged to donate themselves money for the project. Mars One, a nonprofit organization with the headquarters in Netherlands, has received many criticisms for their plan to launch the colonization of Mars – a plan that many people consider unrealistic.