Three Indians were shortlisted along with 97 others worldwide for a first ever One way mission to Mars to set up a Human colony. These 100 people were shortlisted form over 202,586 applicants from 140 countries to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process.

The three Indian candidates include 29-year-old Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, who is studying Doctorate in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. The other two are Ritika Singh, 29, who lives in Dubai, and Shradha Prasad, 19, from Kerala.

The three do not necessarily need to know anything about physics. All that was required was the physical and mental stamina to embark upon and sustain themselves on a journey to the unknown without a hope of return.

After a five-day third phase of tests, the number of shortlisted will be trimmed further to 40, of whom 24 will eventually be chosen for the one-way trips to the red planet, scheduled to start in 2027.

These 100 shortlisted candidates were interviewed to evaluate their understanding of the risks involved, team spirit and their motivation to be part of this life changing expedition that will be a one way trip.

There are 50 men and 50 women who successfully passed and got shortlisted for the next round. The candidates come from all around the world, namely 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania.

Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish permanent human life on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One’s mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations. It is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars.

As they will not be returning to Earth, those selected must be capable of living in small groups, finding water, producing oxygen and growing their own food and establish a human colony.

Unlike Nasa’s plans to go to Mars, these astronauts will only be offered a one-way ticket, and they’ll need to survive by any means possible.

They needed to be enthusiastic in learning about the technicalities of space travel as well as the logistics of survival, such as growing food, performing basic surgery and acquiring water.

But most important, they needed to be team players. “If you are the kind of person who everyone chooses to have on their island, then we want you to apply,” said the Mars One website.

There is still 11 years more to go for the mission. Whether the mission actually takes place in 2027 is something time will only tell.

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