Mars One pares down list of would-be colonists to 1,058
The project, which aims to send colonists to Mars starting in 2024, has completed its first selection of astronauts -- and potential reality TV stars.
Bad news has arrived for 201,528 people who wanted a one-way trip to Mars: they'll be stuck on Earth for the time being.
The Mars One project aims to launch its first crew to Mars in 2024 and a second in 2026.
Further astronaut screening processes now begin. Next up are tests of physical and emotional condition, according to Dr. Norbert Kraft, the project's chief medical officer.
"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," Kraft said.
Candidates also have to be media-savvy, because part of Mars One's plan to raise a needed $6 billion budget is licensing rights to a reality TV show about the mission. Perhaps that's why, according to Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp, two applicants in the first round submitted videos of themselves nude.
Mars One also launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise money. Those who contribute are offered things like T-shirts, 140-character messages printed on Mars lander parachutes, photos sent in a box to Mars, silver and gold commemorative coins, and access to a launch party.
So far the crowdfunding effort has raised about $107,000 of a $400,000 goal.