Finally 2 Indian women and one man have been short listed among the 100 applicants selected for the next round of prospective passengersto go on a one-way trip to Mars in 2014.
Announcing the list, the Netherlands-based firm Mars One said only 100 have been selected from among 202,586 applicants, and they will proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process.
“The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars,” said Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder & CEO of Mars One. “These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”
The Mars 100 Round Three candidates were selected from a pool of 660 candidates after participating in personal online interviews with Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer.
The mission envisages to set up a human colony on Mars and it hopes to send 40 finalists from the 100 applicants in the next stage. They will be going to the Red Planet permanently after 7 years of training in 2024, said Mars One.
The Mars 100 applicants selected include 50 men and 50 women with 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania.
The Indian candidates include 29-year-old Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, who is studying Doctorate in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida, Ritika Singh, 29, who lives in Dubai, and Shradha Prasad, 19, from Kerala.
The three Indian have been filtered from among 44 Indians in the second round of the application process last year. Of them, 27 were men and 17 were women.
“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.” said Dr. Norbert Kraft.
The interviews tried to filter the candidates’ understanding of the risks involved on the Red Planet, their team spirit and their motivation to be part of the life-changing and a life-threatening expedition.
“We were impressed with how many strong candidates participated in the interview round, which made it a very difficult selection,” said Kraft.
The next round will put these 100 candidates through another round of physical hardships of a permanent settlement on Mars.
They will then be trained in the replica of the Mars Outpost on Earth to demonstrate their suitability to perform well in a team.
Candidates who could not make it still have a chance to reapply in a new application round that will open in 2015, said Mars One. New application opportunities will open to train candidates that can replace eliminated teams and to join the crew of settlers on Mars.