One hundred people are still in the running to become humanity’s first Mars explorers.
The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which aims to land four pioneers on the Red Planet in 2025 as the vanguard of a permanent colony, has whittled its pool of astronaut candidates down to 100, organization representatives announced Monday, Feb. 16.
More than 202,000 people applied to become Red Planet explorers after Mars One opened the selection process in April 2013. The latest cut came after Mars One medical director Norbert Kraft interviewed the 660 candidates who had survived several previous rounds of culling. [Images of Mars One’s Red Planet Colony Project]
“The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars,” Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. “These aspiring Martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”