As if setting foot on the Moon was not enough, spaceflight agencies are now in a race to send people to Mars. This time, it is the Netherlands-based Mars One leading the pack, taking leaps ahead NASA who openly stated intentions of sending astronauts to the Red Planet.
The Mars One project makes it possible to live in a world beyond our grasp. It aims to establish the first human colony in a foreign planet by 2024, opening an exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to live in a world other than ours. There is just one catch, though. The mission is a one-way trip to Mars, which means there's no turning back for them.
Yet roughly 200,000 applications flooded Mars One. However, not everyone is fit to go there. When the company screened the applications in December last year, a tad 1,058 was shortlisted. This time, the pool is reduced even more to 705 aspirants and 44 of them are Indians.
"We are excited that 44 Indians have been shortlisted in round two. It shows that India is a major player in Mars trip and the chance of an Indian being selected for the final trip is pretty high," said Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and chief executive of Mars One, in an interview with Indian local paper Hindustan Times.
A total of 27 men and 17 women from India made the cut, outlasting the other 18 Indian hopefuls who got in the first screening. They made up the 32 percent of the 136 applicants from Asia and most of them come from the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, and Thiruvanathapuram.
After completing Mars One's tasks of providing a physician-approved medical statement of health and opening an online Mars One profile to the public, the 44 Indians, as well as the rest of the shortlisted applicants from the Americas (313), Europe (187), Africa (41) and Oceania (28), will now proceed to the Round 2 of screening where they will be interviewed by the Mars One selection committee.