Mars One's mission to the red planet will transform 24 Earthlings into Martians, and after five years of selecting candidates for the rocket, the 4,200 applicants have now been whittled down to just 100.
For those who haven't heard of Mars One yet, it is a project initiated by an independent Dutch operation to send men and women to the red planet by 2023, according to Oregon Live. It is not connected to NASA's ongoing Mars mission, which saw an unmanned spacecraft landing on the planet last year and aims to send astronauts there in the future. Mars One also has no connection to Elon Musk's plan to send the massive Big Falcon Rocket to Mars by 2022.
Mary Roach, author of "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void" and one of the project's public supporters, has said that if Mars One does happen, it could be one of the biggest reality TV events ever and will have a massive global audience.
"Yet at their core, the Mars One team are aerospace professionals with the background and contacts to pull together the technical aspects of the mission," she said in a statement. "It's 'Jersey Shore' meets NASA meets 'American Idol.' This might just work!"
Mars One's potential astronauts also have high hopes for the project's success. One of the shortlisted applicants, Kay Radzik, said the thinking of the possibility of going to Mars has given her "something to look forward to" for the future and allows her to get through the "the mundanities of life."
However, the project still needs a lot of funds before it could actually take off the ground. According to its website, only $1 million has been raised for the Mars One mission so far, which is barely a drop in the $6 billion needed for the project.
But despite the lack of funds, the Mars One mission team is still continuing their search for potential astronauts to man the rocket. Thousands of applicants have expressed interest in joining the mission, and they have been whittled down to a hundred based on five core criteria: resiliency, curiosity, adaptability, ability to trust and creativity/resourcefulness.
According to the New York Post, the Mars One candidates will undergo a decade-long period of training in a remote location. During this time, they will have to grow their own food, repair technology and get medical training.
This is important as no astronaut will be given a "return ticket" back to Earth.
Julia Ngeow, who is directing a four-part series about the potential astronauts of Mars One, said that for this mission, the greater goal is more important than the individual.
"It's greater than the individual -- it's being part of a larger thing for humanity," she said.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.