78,000 sign up for one-way mission to Mars

May 10, 2013

Mars One says it has received applications from more than 78,000 people in more than 120 countries for the Mars One astronaut selection program, in hopes of becoming a Mars settler in 2023.

Most applications come from the U.S. (17324), followed by China (10241), United Kingdom (3581), Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and India.

The most popular candidate (for site visitors) so far is Anders from Sweden, a science-fiction fan (“I’m single, nothing holding me back”), and the highest-rated by visitors are Rickard (also from Sweden) and Arteum (from Russia).

“With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history, said Bas Lansdorp, Mars One Co-Founder and CEO. “These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.”

As part of the application every applicant is required to explain his/her motivation behind their decision go to Mars in a one-minute video. Many applicants are choosing to publish this video on the Mars One website.

Applicants we have received come from a very wide range of personalities, professions and ages,” said Dr. Norbert Kraft, Mars One Chief Medical Officer. “This is significant because what we are looking for is not restricted to a particular background. From Round 1 we will take forward the most committed, creative, resilient and motivated applicants.”

Mars One will continue to receive online applications until August 31, 2013. From all the applicants in Round 1, regional reviewers will select around 50–100 candidates for Round 2 in each of the 300 geographic regions in the world that Mars One has identified.

After four rounds, ending in 2015; Mars One will employ 28–40 candidates, who will train for around 7 years. Finally an audience vote will elect one of groups in training to be the envoys of humanity to Mars.