Producers of an outlandish reality TV show concept in which volunteers will be filmed preparing to mount an audacious one way trip to the Red Planet have revealed the identity of 100 would be astronauts shortlisted for the cosmic trip.
Mars One, the private enterprise behind the interplanetary jaunt, published the list as part of the latest phase in its bid to get its vision off the ground with 40 hopefuls ultimately expected to go forward for rigorous training.
To qualify hopefuls must demonstrate sufficient fortitude to deal with hardships presented by the lengthy voyage before being marooned on the cold, desert world.
Blast-off won’t be happening anytime soon however with executives stressing that eight years of training will be required before any mission receives the final go-ahead, not to mention the need to source at least £4bn in funding by licensing the show for broadcast internationally.
If its successful however the first four man crew could be scooping red Martian dust in 2025, with subsequent missions launching on a two year cycle.
Bas Lansdorp, co-founder & CEO of Mars One, said: “The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars. These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”
Composed of 50 men and 50 women the shortlist follows a lengthy review process after 202,586 hopefuls stated their desire to take part.