19 South Africans one short list for one-way trip to Mars

2014-05-09 09:24

(AFP)

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Mars One mission

2012-08-13 09:16

The YouTube video illustrates the Mars One manned mission to the red planet.WATCH

Cape Town – With the focus on elections this past week, it hasn’t been uncommon to hear South Africans grumbling about the state of the country and threatening to leave it for greener pastures.

Well, it seems like a few locals actually have something slightly more red in mind, and it also doesn’t have much to do with politics.  

Die Burger reports that 19 South Africans have proved that they are willing to exchange earth for Mars, as part of the Mars One project.

They have made it through to the second round of the Mars One selection process and are hoping to form part of the first human colony on the red planet.

The Netherlands-based NGO is hoping to establish the colony by 2023 and have whittled their list of candidates down from 1 085 to 705 from 146 different countries.

In order to make it into the second round, Mars One asked candidates to complete two tasks by March 2014: provide a medical statement of health from their physician and open their online Mars One applicant profile to the public.  

The 418 men and 287 women who successfully completed both tasks will be invited for a personal interview.  

313 candidates originally come from the Americas, 187 from Europe, 136 from Asia, 41 from Africa, and 28 from Oceania.

The South African contingent consists of four women and 15 men from all corners of the country - from Keimoes to Durban. Six other South Africans fell out after the first round, along with 347 hopefuls from around the globe.  

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 of prospective Mars settlers will be prepared for the mission by participating full time in an extensive training program.

Training to go to Mars will be their full time job.  

Whole teams and individuals might be selected out during training when they prove not to be suitable for the mission.

Mars One will repeat the selection process regularly to train additional teams to replace eliminated teams and crews of settlers that have successfully left Earth to live on Mars.   

Would you ever want to live in space? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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