The Mars One Project set up in 2011, aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2024. If the first mission to the red planet is a success, others will be sent to join the settlement every two years.
There is now a shortlist of one hundred people from around the world hoping to be the first humans to set foot on Mars in this one way trip. The fifty men and fifty women have been selected to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process and each face a series of special tests and training in preparation for the Martian environment.
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Sputnik news report:
Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of Mars One said:
“These aspiring Martians will provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be”.
Despite the risks which include suffocation, starvation and dehydration, more than 200,000 people on planet Earth applied to become volunteers for the colonisation project.
The greatest risk, according to Igore Mitrofanov from the Space Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, is the huge amounts of radiation that the volunteers be exposed to.
Five Russians and five Britons have made it to the short list, including Hannah Earnshaw, a 23-year-old PhD student in astronomy at Durham University.
The other hopefuls from the UK are Dr Maggie Lieu, 24, a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Birmingham, 21-year-old Oxford University student Ryan Macdonald, Alison Rigby, 35, a science laboratory technician from Kent, and Clare Weedon, 27, from Surrey, who works for Virgin Media.