Mars One, the Dutch nonprofit planning to put a human colony on Mars in 2025, announced on Monday that it has whittled its applicant pool to about 1,000 applicants to be among the first astronauts to trade in their Earth citizenship for a – permanent – Martian residence.
The 1,058 Martian hopefuls, selected from about 200,000 original applicants, will go through several more application rounds before Mars One will select just 24 people for what is to the applicants the ultimate prize but is for others a nightmare of cosmic proportions: the chance to go live on Mars, with absolutely no chance of ever coming home.
“For people who don’t want to go to Mars, it’s almost unimaginable to them why anyone would want to go to Mars,” says Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One. “For people that do want to go to Mars, they can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t be interested in going to Mars.”
“These people will never understand each other,” he says.