Wanted: Mars colonists to explore red planet

January 9, 2013

If all goes according to plan, the first Mars One astronauts will touch down on the Red Planet in 2023 (credit: Mars One / Bryan Versteeg)

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which hopes to put the first astronauts on the Red Planet in 2023, released its basic astronaut requirements on Jan. 8, setting the stage for a televised global selection process that will begin later this year, Space.com reports.

Anyone who is at least 18 years old can apply to become a Mars colony pioneer. The most important criteria, officials say, are intelligence, good mental and physical health and dedication to the project, as astronauts will undergo eight years of training before launch.