The Mars One group wants to put four humans on the Red Planet by 2022. The first settlers would by followed more groups, arriving every two years.
The first round of a four-part selection process ends on August 31. By September, the selection committee will begin culling through hundreds of thousands of video entries and questionnaires to decide which space enthusiasts will move ahead to Round Two. Ultimately, candidates will be whittled down to a total of 24 to 40 applicants, divided into groups.
“We are selecting groups of four, and not individuals,” says Norbert Kraft, the medical director for the Mars One project. “You can be the best, smartest individual, but if you cannot work within your group you are out,” he said.
Each group will spend three months every year, for up to eight years, in an isolated habitat. During this time, the group will have to prove that they can work together.
On its press site, Mars One says its looking for applicants that display five specific psychological traits: resilience, adaptability, curiosity, the ability to trust others, and creativity/resourcefulness. They also want candidates who are mature, interesting, and have a sense of humour.
Most Mars applicants have a public profile and their application videos are available to watch online.
Because the selection process has not started yet, Kraft says he cannot single anyone out now. However, he did leave us one piece of advice: “I always say they fly to Mars when they sit in the rocket and not a minute earlier.”
Who do we think should make the cut? Here are five eager applicants that we think balance each other out.
Pietro Aliprandi, 23, from Italy — “The Adventurer”
Pietro, who is studying to be doctor in Italy, seems like a born adventurer. Every summer he attempts to summit at least one mountain in the Alps, according to his profile. And, he’s naturally curious. “When I look at the sky, I do dream about aeroplanes, Starships, and space exploration,” he said in his application video. That’s the spirit!
Maggie Duckworth, 28, from the United States — “The Caretaker”
Maggie was “raised on a farm in the heart of the U.S.” according to her Mars One profile. Maggie has a degree in electrical engineering and makes high-end costumes for a living. We think Maggie, who likes camping and cooking, would be resourceful during a time of crisis. In an interview with Huffpo Live, the creative spirit even said she would be willing to have a baby on Mars.
Kitty Kane, 23, from the United States — “The Comedian”
Kitty says she would like to go to Mars because she “likes eating food out of pouches.” Um, Ok. Kitty may not be the rocket scientist of the group, but we admire her silliness, which will be useful as astronauts battle harsh conditions and loneliness on the Red Planet.
Steve Schild, 28, from Switzerland — “The Athlete”
Steve currently lives with his fiancé and two cats in a rural village in Switzerland. But he’s no snooze fest! Steve is a three-time Guinness World Record holder for the farthest distance covered on a water slide in 4 hours. Check him out here. At the end of August, Steve plans to beat another world record: he will attempt to cross with a teammate the English Channel in an inflatable water roller.
Andrew Radar, 34, from Canada — “The Intellectual”
Andrew has a Ph.D in long-duration human space flight from MIT. He’s also worked as a spacecraft systems engineer on six Canadian space missions. Last month, the charismatic Ottawa native earned the title “Canada’s Greatest Know-it-All” on the popular Canadian Discovery Channel show of the same named.
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