Mars One Has Selected 100 Finalists To Compete On TV For 24 Spots
The 200,000-plus people who applied to take part in a one-way trip to Mars have been narrowed down to 100 finalists.
Dutch nonprofit Mars One plans on eventually selecting 24 winners and ferrying the first four to the Red Planet beginning in 2024.
The astronauts will then build Mars' first-ever human settlement and remain there for the rest of their lives.
Despite having no guarantee that the mission will be a success or that they won't be killed along the way, the competition received applications from many highly educated and completely normal-sounding individuals.
The only requirement was that applicants be over 18, since Mars One believes that attitude and passion as opposed to skill and intelligence will prove most vital in maintaining the settlement.
Mars One Chief Medical Officer Norbert Kraft personally interviewed 660 candidates and chose 50 men and 50 women.
The US is home to 38 finalists, more than any other nation.
Making up the rest are 31 people from Europe, 16 from Asia, seven from Africa, seven from the Pacific island region of Oceania and just one from Central or South America, the Guardian reports.
There are 27 people with bachelor's degrees among the finalists, as well as two with associate's, 30 with master's degrees, one with a law degree, four with medical degrees and seven people with PhDs, according to the Washington Post.
Two of the finalists were 18 when they applied in 2013, and 13 are still in college.
Six of the remaining 87 are unemployed, and the oldest finalist is Toronto's Reginald George Foulds at 60 years of age.
These people will now be split into teams and compete in training exercises meant to simulate life on Mars.
Whether they've been chosen as the final 24 will be revealed before the end of the year.
The competition will be televised in order to fund the first four-person trip, which is expected to cost approximately $6 billion.
Here's a trailer for the endeavor released by Mars One: