Mars One, the Dutch-based venture, announced yesterday that it’s slimmed down its list of applicants to just 50 men and 50 women who will compete for the chance to take a one-way trip to the red planet. For those who haven’t been following the Mars One project, they plan to put on a reality-TV competition to select 24 prospective crew members for missions to Mars, starting as early as 2024. Winners would be expected to start up a permanent colony on the Red Planet. Tens of thousands signed up for Mars One consideration in 2013, and the 100 competitors were chosen after going through interviews with chief medical officer Norbert Kraft who says: “Being one of the best individual candidates does not automatically make you the greatest team player, so I look forward to seeing how the candidates progress and work together in the upcoming challenges.”
“Mars One estimates that it will need billions of dollars to conduct its Mars missions, including a robotic rover mission planned for launch in 2018. The money question is the biggest unknown right now, but last year an MIT study concluded that the venture’s plan to send humans to Mars and keep them alive was “overly optimistic” on technical grounds,” reports NBC News.