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Mars One selects 1 'alien' and 99 human finalists to die on Mars

Over 200,000 people applied for the chance to visit the red planet and never come back. Now Mars One has whittled the applicant pool down to just 100.

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Only 100 are still competing for the prize of dying on another world. Mars One

A hundred lucky dreamers are one step closer to achieving their dream of dying on Mars. Mars One, the private nonprofit hoping to establish a base on the red planet with the help of crowdfunding and a series of global, reality show-esque media events, has named its 100 final astronaut candidates.

Over 202,000 wannabe Martian explorers applied at the beginning of the process. That group was quickly reduced to just over 1,000 in the first round of cuts, then to 660, and now we're at the third round, which includes 50 men and 50 women (39 from the Americas, including 33 from the US, plus 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania.)

The remaining hopefuls are a colorful crew, including the 38-year-old guy from Poland who simply goes by the name "M1-K0," and claims to be a Martian sent to Earth who would now be happy to help us explore his home planet.

Up next, we get to see M1-K0 and the other 99 in action. The remaining selection rounds will put the candidates into teams that will train at a facility set up to mimic a Martian outpost. So begins the reality-show portion of Mars One, it would appear. Hopefully it won't mimic the outpost as visualized by a team of MIT students who postulated last year that the astronauts would start to die off after just two months on Martian soil. That claim drew the ire of Mars One head Bas Lansdorp, followed by a testy back and forth.

If you didn't make the final 100, don't despair. Mars One says new application opportunities will allow for reapplications and for additional applicants in 2015 and beyond. Or you could apply at SpaceX -- Elon Musk also has his sights set on the red planet in the not-too-distant future.

Meanwhile, check out the below promo video from Mars One announcing the latest round.