Have you ever wanted to set foot in Mars?
For Singapore based Choo Peng Hong, Roy Chan, and Robinson, they might just be the lucky ones to be sent to Mars after being shortlisted by Mars One as potential candidates.
Out of over 200,000 online applications, only 1058 were shortlisted. Each application requires general information about the applicant, a motivational letter, a resume and a one-minute video to justify why he or she should be selected as one of the astronauts.
Mars One’s vision is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Crews of four will depart every two years, starting in 2024. Its first unmanned mission will be launched in 2018. Out of the 1058 currently shortlisted, only six groups of four astronauts will be selected to undergo extensive trainings of eight years, which will also be their full paid job. Throughout the training sessions, those who are unable to prove themselves can be booted out. The trainings include three aspects; technical training, personal training and group training.
According to Mars One, training will continue until the launch in 2024. The group’s ability to deal with prolonged periods of time in a remote location is the most important part of their training. They learn to repair components of the habitat and rover, train in medical procedures and learn to grow their own food in the habitat.
After the training, the global community will get to vote on which of the first group of four to be shuttled to Mars. The highlights of the project will also be broadcast around the world.
Choo, Pao and Robinson are some of the few people in the world who has a real chance of living on Mars. If they manage to get through the program, they will be staying in an astronaut’s cabin on Mars. The cabin contains a bedroom, a working area, a living room and a plant production unit.
According to his application, Choo Peng Hong is currently an Adventure Course Centre Manager. Choo is 39 years old and enjoy playing computer games, with a preference in City and Civilisation building games. Roy Chan on the other hand, is currently working as a lecturer at a local Polytechnic in Singapore, teaching Game Design. Robinson is the eldest among them: at 53, Robinson has 3 kids.
The United States has the higher number of candidates shortlisted in the second round with 297 applicants, and 458 come from the Americas in general. After that, 282 are from Europe and 218 from Asia, including 52 from Russia and 62 from India. A total of 107 countries have candidates in the second round, with a gender split of around 55 percent male and 45 percent female.
So will they manage to go through the subsequent rounds of the selection process and carry the Singapore flag to Mars? We certainly hope so!
Oh and one more thing, this is a one way trip. At least for now.