54 Canadians remain in contention for one-way trip to Mars

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Mars One

Only 54 of the 8,243 Canadians who applied to be a part of Mars One – a planned one-way mission to the red planet – are left after the second round of elimination, but they are now one step closer to the possibility of being among the first humans to ever set foot on Mars.

According to their website, the goal of Mars One is to establish a human settlement on Mars.

“Human settlement of Mars is the next giant leap for humankind. Exploring the solar system as a united humanity will bring us all closer together.”

“Mars is the stepping stone of the human race on its voyage into the universe. Human settlement on Mars will aid our understanding of the origins of the solar system, the origins of life and our place in the universe. As with the Apollo Moon landings, a human mission to Mars will inspire generations to believe that all things are possible, anything can be achieved.”

Last December, the Netherlands-based organization picked 1,058 candidates to enter the second round of its selection progress from an original pool of 200,000 applicants, with 8,243 applications coming from Canadians. A half-dozen British Columbians were among those selected.

The latest round of cuts has eliminated a third of the potential Mars settlers, including 21 Canadians, leaving 705 candidates moving on to the interview round.

After the interview round, the group of candidates will be narrowed down to several international teams consisting of two women and two men. These teams will undergo preparation for the mission by participating full time in an extensive training program, meaning going to Mars will be their full time job.

The plan is for a crew of four people to travel to Mars every two years, starting in 2024, with the first groups arriving in 2025. Space travel to Mars currently takes just under eight-and-a-half months, with the recently deployed Curiosity Lander taking 253 days to reach its destination.

The Mars One project is the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Bas Landorp. The $6 billion project is being funded through sponsors and private investors.

Featured Image: Mars One

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Jeff Clowers is a former Editorial Intern. He is a BCIT Journalism grad and avid sports fan - Go Eagles! Covering all the happenings of the Greater Vancouver area.
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