The Dutch-based Mars One project has narrowed down its list of candidates from more than 200,000 to 50 men and 50 women who will compete for a one-way trip to Mars, and 33 of them are Americans.
From this list, a final crew of four will eventually be sent to Mars, set to land in 2025 after a seven-month journey from Earth, according to the Daily Mail.
The 100 people who may be one giant leap closer to humans reaching Mars for the first time hail from 40 countries, 33 of them U.S. residents ranging in age from 19 to 60.
American hopefuls come from all social, economic, and ethnic groups, including PhD students, engineers, artists, medical doctors, and even a singer and a workout trainer.
Six out of the 33 men and women competing to travel to the red planet are over the age of 50, including software engineer and married father of five from Boston, Peter Degen-Portnoy, who says that he has dreamed of living on another planet his whole life.
The Verge reports that Mars One’s selection process will be structured like a reality TV show, filming the trials and letting the audience vote for the candidates in later rounds.
The not-for-profit organization aims to have over twenty people living and working on Mars by 2033, with additional teams joining the human settlement every two years to collect data, plant oxygen-producing vegetation and set the foundation for colonization.
In spite of the risks, more than 200,000 people applied to become Mars explorers after the group launched the selection process in April 2013. The 100 candidates were chosen after being interviewed by Mars One medical director Norbert Kraft, Space.com reports.
“Being one of the best individual candidates does not automatically make you the greatest team player, so I look forward to seeing how the candidates progress and work together in the upcoming challenges,” Kraft said in a statement.
In addition to donations and allowing TV networks to broadcast its trials, Mars One kickstarted an Indiegogo campaign at the end of 2013. The organization’s goal was to raise $400,000 at the time, money that would’ve gone to Lockheed Martin and satellite company SSTL for a robotic rover test flight to the red planet in 2018. The campaign fell $100,000 short, but Mars One is still going ahead with the mission.
Below is the list of the 33 Americans who made the Mars 100. You can view the full list of candidates here.
Name: Cody Reeder
Reason for going to Mars: I grew up on an off grid ranch in the west desert of Utah, so Mars will be like home. The experiences I have had and my ability to think in logical ways that no one else does has allowed me to find novel working solutions to problems. I am also a very friendly person that gets along with everyone so I could do very well here on Earth, in fact leaving would be a huge loss for the planet; it is for precisely this reason that I am greatly needed in this endeavor to colonize a new world.
Name: Peter Degen-Portnoy
Occupation: Software engineer
Reason for going to Mars: I have dreamed of traveling through space to live on another world all my life and am so very excited that Mars One is making this a possibility.
Name: George W. Hatcher
Occupation: PhD student
Reason for going to Mars: When I was three, I told my parents I wanted to be an astronaut. By the time I was eleven, I had set a goal: Mars. I have followed that dream ever since.
Name: Peter Felgentreff
Occupation: Network security entrepreneur
Reason for going to Mars: I’ve been confident that someday people would return to the the moon and even journey beyond. I’m both surprised and delighted to see that private companies are making man’s next step possible. I’m motivated and eager to do my part in moving us beyond our own planet.
Name: Kay Radzik Warren
Occupation: Architectural project manager
Reason for going to Mars: All my life I’ve always thought of our species as ever-growing and evolving, and interplanetary settlement makes sense. It’s a dream-come-true to be this much closer to being a part of what’s to be a growing settlement on Mars. It has always been a goal to make a difference, to be part of the difference.
Name: Christopher Patil
Occupation: Scientific language editor
Reason for going to Mars: I fell in love with Mars as a boy watching Sagan’s “Cosmos,” which convinced me that colonization of Mars is essential and inevitable.
Name: Dan Carey
Occupation: Computer professional
Reason for going to Mars: I am a husband, father, and computer professional. But more importantly for Mars One, I am a child of the Space Age. I absorbed the optimism and can-do spirit of that time, as well as a trust in science and technology to make our world and our lives better.
Name: Cassandra Morphy
Occupation: Mathematical reporting
Reason for going to Mars: Going to space has been one of my life-long goals since before I can remember; going to Mars has been one since I first heard the idea of colonizing it.
Name: Matthew Kliebert
Occupation: Computer system repairman
Reason for going to Mars: I have always been the adventurist type and the one to explore the unknown.
Name: Carl LeCompte
Reason for going to Mars: The idea of not just try[sic] to survive, but thrive, in an alien environment has always held a strange sort of fascination to me... I feel it's the next big step in the human evolution, and I want to be a part of it
Name: Dr Elena Shateni
Occupation: Medical doctor
Reason for going to Mars: I want to take care of our crew on Mars. I want to learn about aspects of psychological adaptation to humans isolated on Mars and how the best way to handle long term low gravity, radiation and other environmental problems.
Name: Benjamin Alan McLain
Reason for going to Mars: I would like to go to Mars because I'm curious. I would like to go to Mars because I believe that planet may hold the answers to some of the greatest unknowns that exist in science.
Name: Zachary Gallegos
Occupation: Graduate student in planetary science
Reason for going to Mars: I want to go to Mars not just to be a part of history, but to be on the frontier of exploration so that I could do science on Mars and inspire people around the world.
Name: Oscar Mathews
Occupation: Nuclear engineer
Reason for going to Mars: We can be the generation that begins this journey... the best reason to go because it's possible.
Name: Laurel Kaye
Occupation: Physics and pre-medicine student
Reason for going to Mars: This is something that's inspirational. It will lead to new scientific discoveries, it will bridge barriers across countries, and it will provide something that people look forward and aspire to for generations to come.
Name: Sue Ann Pien
Reason for going to Mars: I've always wanted to be an astronaut. It was first dream and first love as a kid.
Name: Sara Director
Occupation: Project manager
Reason for going to Mars: I just believe in humanity and in our ability to grow and evolve into something much greater than what we currently are, and I really just want to contribute to that really part of our history that is just on the horizon.
Name: Shirelle Erin Webb
Reason for going to Mars: Participating in the colonization of Mars is the adventure of the century. This opportunity beats all others. This is a huge step for the advancement of mankind.
Name: Andrew Tunks
Occupation: Health care technology
Reason for going to Mars: In short, I want to reduce suffering in the world. This is just a different way of being a part of something bigger than myself.
Name: Carmen Paul
Occupation: National Guardsman
Reason for going to Mars: I think a successful manned mission to Mars would be the absolute pinnacle of human achievement, and I want in on that.
Name: Kenya Armbrister
Occupation: Project manager at pharmaceutical company
Reason for going to Mars: The reason why I want to be selected for this human mission to Mars is because I truly feel that I have what it takes to advance the human race on another planet. I also want to inspire people on Earth to realize their dreams.
Name: Yari Rodriguez
Occupation: Data analyst
Reason for going to Mars: I'm not afraid of this one-way trip to Mars. In fact, I’m excited about being part of this great adventure on Mars. I think of this as donating my life to science.
Name: Andrea Stancin
Reason for going to Mars: I have wanted to be an astronaut since I was a little girl. It is what inspired me to get degrees in science and engineering.
Name: Maggie Duckworth
Occupation: Electrical engineer
Reason for going to Mars: This is our chance to get the world excited about space again... this is something we need to do to inspire generations to come.
Name: Kristin Richmond
Occupation: Civil engineer
Reason for going to Mars: The Mars expedition will fulfill my thirst for learning and knowledge, as well as allow me to make a contribution to the human race that I would never be able to make on Earth.
Name: Ethan Dederick
Occupation: Graduate in physics and astronomy
Reason for going to Mars: What's left after you go is the good that's left behind. I want my life to have a strong purpose, I want my impact to be greater, but above all, positive.
Name: Yvonne Young
Occupation: Workout instructor
Reason for going to Mars: Call it a childhood dream of watching way too many Star Trek episodes, but I truly believe that the final frontier for humans is outter space travel.
Name: Dr Leila Zucker
Occupation: Emergency room doctor
Reason for going to Mars: Since I was a little kid, all I wanted was to be a doctor and travel in space.
Name : Michael McDonnell
Sex : Male
Age : 50
Occupation : Physicist
Reason for going to Mars: I'm adventurous. I've traveled all around the world. I've climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, but living on Mars has been my passion and life-long dream. The time for mankind to live on Mars is now.
Name: Laura Smith-Velazquez
Sex : Female
Age : 38
Occupation : Systems engineer
Reason for going to Mars: Because I've wanted to be an astronaut since I was 8, because when I was doing my Master's, I wanted to design a colony on Mars, and because I think we need to give people hope, show them that we can risk and be successful, and that we're not afraid to do so.
Name: Sonia Van Meter
Occupation: Political consultant
Reason for going to Mars: Of course i would love to fly through space and be the first human being to walk on another planet. What girl wouldn't? But my purpose on this mission is to help people back on earth look up and relaize that there is nothing we can't accomplsh if we simply make the decison to do it.
Name: Mead McCormick
Reason for going to Mars: My grandfather is Jim McCormick, an engineer who worked for NASA and helped invent the jetpack. I think it would be great to carry out his legacy.
Name: Megan Kane
Occupation: Manager at data company
Reason to go to Mars: We cannot stay here forever. Our future is as an interplanetary society, and Mars is a first step outside our cradle.I want to go to Mars and build that future where we truly are an interplanetary society.