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.

An artist's rendering of Mars One's planned Mars colony. Some parts of the colony will be buried underneath Martian soil to protect against radiation, according to the non-profit project's plans.
An artist's rendering of Mars One's planned Mars colony. Some parts of the colony will be buried underneath Martian soil to protect against radiation, according to the project's plans. Mars One

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.

But 1,058 others passed an early screening process for the Mars One effort to colonize the Red Planet, the organizers announced Monday.

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.

Mars One hopes to send two crews to Mars in 2024 and 2026, arriving after equipment already has been sent to a colony site. The journey to Mars will take 210 days, according to the plan.
Mars One hopes to send two crews to Mars in 2024 and 2026, arriving after equipment already has been sent to a colony site. The journey to Mars will take 210 days, according to the plan. Mars One

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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