London, May 8 :
Time to rejoice but pray too as The Netherlands-based nonprofit organisation Mars One has shortlisted 44 Indians – including 17 women – among 705 aspirants for its planned one-way trip to Mars in 2024.
The organisation aims to establish a Red Planet settlement beginning in 2025.
“We are incredibly excited to start the next phase of Round 2 where we begin to better understand our candidates who aspire to take such a daring trip,” Mars One chief medical officer Norbert Kraft said in a statement.
They will have to show their knowledge, intelligence, adaptability and personality, he added.
Mars One aims to land four colonists on the Red Planet in 2024.
More than 200,000 people applied to become Mars One astronauts.
In December, the organisation had slashed this pool down to 1,058 candidates.
“The 353 people who did not make it to the list for Round 2 were eliminated for personal or medical reasons,” Mars One said.
The 418 men and 287 women who survived come from all over the world – with 313 hailing from the Americas, 187 from Europe, 136 from Asia, 41 from Africa and 28 from Oceania.
The interview round will slash the ranks further to just a handful, said a press release.
After the interview round, the group of candidates will be narrowed down to several international teams consisting of two women and two men.
“Whole teams and individuals might be selected out during training when they prove not to be suitable for the mission,” Mars One noted.
Mars One will repeat the selection process regularly to train additional teams to replace eliminated teams and crews of settlers that have successfully left earth to live on Mars.