– Mars One, a not-for-profit organization which plans to establish a human settlement on Mars, today issued the base requirements for its pending Astronaut Selection Program. This establishes the first step toward the global selection process which will commence in the first half of 2013.
Unique to all other space exploration endeavors before it, Mars One is opening the astronaut program to anyone on planet Earth that meets the base criteria. It is not necessary to have military training nor experience in flying aircraft nor even a science degree. It is most important that each applicant be intelligent, in good mental and physical health, and be willing to dedicate eight years to training and learning before making the journey to his or her new home on Mars.
Norbert Kraft, former Sr. Research Associate at NASA and Chief Medical Director for Mars One states, “In my former work with NASA we established strict criteria for the selection and training of astronauts on long duration space flights. Gone are the days when bravery and the number of hours flying a supersonic jet were the top criteria. Now, we are more concerned with how well each astronaut works and lives with the others, in the long journey from Earth to Mars and for a lifetime of challenges ahead. Psychological stability, the ability to be at your best when things are at their worst is what Mars One is looking for. If you are the kind of person that everyone chooses to have on their island, then we want you to apply too.”
Applicants need to be at least 18 years of age, have a deep sense of purpose, willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships, the capacity for self-reflection and ability to trust. They must be resilient, adaptable, curious, creative and resourceful. Mars One is not seeking specific skill sets such as medical doctors, pilots or geologists. Rather, candidates will receive a minimum of eight years extensive training while employed by Mars One. While any formal education or real-world experience can be an asset, all skills required on Mars will be learned while in training.
Suzanne Flinkenflögel, Director of Communications at Mars One offers, “Well before the official Astronaut Selection Program, we received more than one thousand emails from individuals who desire to go to Mars. While they may not yet realize the incredible challenges that lay ahead, this show of support for a global selection campaign is so important to us. We are working hard to launch our selection campaign as soon as possible, to open the doors to everyone who aspires to do something tremendous in their lifetime."