Monday, May 21, 2018

Mars One: 1,058 applicants still in contention to start Mars colony

LOS ANGELES — Last summer, more than 200,000 people applied for a one-way ticket to Mars. This week, 1,058 of them were selected to move on to the next round.

The applications — all in video form — were not sent to NASA, or another national space agency, but to a nonprofit organization called Mars One. Based in the Netherlands, Mars One has the unusual goal of turning the colonization of Mars into a reality show with a global audience.

The call for applicants to move to Mars went out in April. Anyone over the age of 18 was invited to send in a video in which they explained why they wanted to go to Mars, and how they felt about never returning to Earth. They were also asked to describe their sense of humor.

In this first narrowing down of future Mars colonizers, the Mars One team focused on choosing people who were physically and mentally capable of becoming human ambassadors to Mars, Bas Landsorp, co-founder of Mars One, said in a statement.

Those who were taking the mission less seriously were excluded.

The pool of selected applicants includes 472 women and 586 men. More than half of them are under the age of 35, but 26 are over the age of 56. The oldest applicant to move on to the next round is 81.

The contenders hail from 107 countries. The United States is the most heavily represented, with 297 applicants moving on to round two. Canada had the second biggest showing with 75 applicants.

Over the next two years, the hopefuls will continue to be whittled down as they are put through a series of physical and emotional tests, as well as "rigorous simulations," said Norbert Kraft, chief medical officer for Mars One.

Exactly what those tests will consist of, and when they will occur, is still up in the air.

"Details of the 2014 selection phase have not been agreed upon due to ongoing negotiations with media companies for the rights to televise the selection process," the organization said in a statement.

Over the next four years, Mars One wants to get the applicant group down to about 40. Those selected will train in groups for seven years. And if everything goes according to plan, at that time a global audience will vote on which team will go to Mars in 2025.

The organization is also hoping to send a lander to Mars in 2018 and has already contracted Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop a mission concept study.

It is unclear just how Mars One will pay for its ambitious plans, which it estimates will cost about $6 billion. In a news release this month, the nonprofit said it would look for funding in exclusive partnerships and sponsorships.

Comments
Hundreds participate in ’Hands Across the Sand’

Hundreds participate in ’Hands Across the Sand’

People hold hands in soliderity for the Hands Across the Sand event. Melissa Pielet, 20, from St. Petersburg, Fla., gathered with a large crowds.Held annually since the Deep Water Horizon explosion in 2010, the “Hands Across the Sand” dem...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
The young Han Solo movie is here. And let's just say a robot is the best part

The young Han Solo movie is here. And let's just say a robot is the best part

Solo: A Star Wars Story begins with the Star Wars franchise's signature tag line, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."
Updated: 11 minutes ago
New Port Richey man charged with sexual battery of 10-year-old

New Port Richey man charged with sexual battery of 10-year-old

PORT RICHEY — A New Port Richey man accused of sexually battering a 10-year-old girl last year was arrested Friday, according the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Elias Barreiro, 23, was charged with sexual battery on a child under 12, deputies said. T...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Porn actor accused of shooting up Trump hotel appears in court and immediately admits to a crime

Porn actor accused of shooting up Trump hotel appears in court and immediately admits to a crime

Jonathan Oddi, the stripper and porn actor who stormed the Trump National Doral resort and got into a gunfight with police, won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon.A Miami-Dade judge on Monday morning ordered the 42-year-old Oddi held without bond....
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Baytenders Raw Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

Baytenders Raw Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

Updated: 16 minutes ago
GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

At least one gas price tracker expects rising fuel prices to sharply curtail summer travel. In a recent survey by GasBuddy.com, just 58 percent of motorists surveyed said they would take a road trip this summer, down 24 percent from last year. Just u...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Have we been here before?

Have we been here before?

Yes we have. For almost a year, the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers union have been trying to reach agreement on salaries for the school year that will end in four days.Another session is planned at 2 p.m.As reported previously, ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Lightning watch party Monday for Game 6

Lightning watch party Monday for Game 6

Here's how to watch Game 6 with your fellow Bolts fans.
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Why Kendrick Lamar, in Tampa this week, is the best songwriter alive

Why Kendrick Lamar, in Tampa this week, is the best songwriter alive

The Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper is coming to Tampa. Here's what you need to know about Kendrick and his crew.
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Longtime Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni loses cancer fight at 63

Longtime Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni loses cancer fight at 63

Eighteen-year Pinellas County commissioner John Morroni died Sunday night while fighting his third battle against cancer.Morroni, 63, announced in April that he was again undergoing treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center for a blood disorder kn...
Updated: 1 hour ago