Mars One, the controversial company that’s planning to colonize Mars, has revealed the top 100 finalists for their program. The 100 finalists will be separated into groups where they will be trained on working together. The group will then be whittled down to four. These four finalists will be sent to Mars on a mission to study and colonize the planet. However, since a return trip is still technologically impossible, the trip to Mars is going to be one-way. But that doesn’t deter the finalists, who have signed up because they don’t want to miss an opportunity as huge as this.
In an interview with the LA Times, 58-year-old Elena Shateni expressed her excitement. “This is a dream job for me — a dream job,” she said in the interview.
“I was always attracted to the unknown, to know what is out there. [I] got an invitation to watch the Curiosity Rover Mars landing at JPL. It took my breath away. All those people who had dedicated 10 years of their lives to this one thing.”
“So I was crazy about Mars. I started to follow all the news about Mars. A year ago, on the anniversary of the Curiosity landing, I was browsing on the Internet and found the project,” Shateni adds.
Also included in the 100 finalists chosen by Mars One are two servicemen who signed up because they were enticed by the mission’s objectives. Lt. Cmdr. Oscar Mathews and Tech. Sgt. Carmen Paul are hoping that their military experience will account for something once the mission pushes through. Sgt. Paul revealed that her husband is supportive of her decision, and plans on signing up for the program as well once they start accepting applications again. Lt. Cmdr. Matthews, on the other hand, doesn’t want to disclose his girlfriend’s reaction to the one-way trip.
A lot of the people who have signed up for the project will be leaving their families behind. One of them, a NASA engineer named George Hatcher, recently welcomed a new baby into his growing family. But still, all of their reasons for signing up are the same: they want to explore the unknown.
However, the Mars One program has its fair share of skeptics. One of them is the noted astrophysicist, Dr. Michio Kaku. According to Dr. Kaku, “This has the atmosphere of a circus, where you have amateurs simply raising their hand, volunteering to be the first person on Mars.”
“And given the fact that this will be untested technology, I would assume that the failure rate would be about 90 to 95 percent for a mission of this magnitude. In other words, it’s a tragedy waiting to happen,” he warns.
[Image via Mars One]