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Six Canadians still in the running for one-way-trip to Mars

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 10:19 AM - In as little as 10 years, the first humans may set foot on the planet Mars, and six Canadians are still in the running to be one of them.

Mars One, a project that aims to begin the colonization of Mars starting in the year 2025, has made another round of cuts to its list of candidates, reducing the number of potential colonists down to just 100 - 50 men and 50 women.

Originally, over 200,000 people signed up for the project, nearly 2,000 of whom were Canadian, all vying for one of 24 one-way tickets to Mars. The first-round cuts, from back in January 2014, were deep. The multitudes that excitedly signed up to go were whittled down to just 660 contenders, which included 75 Canadians.

This second cut, which was made after the selection committee interviewed each candidate, has dropped the number down to just 100.

"The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars," Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder & CEO of Mars One, said in a press release. "These aspiring Martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be."

Included in this third-round list are six Canadians:

Daniel Criger, 28
PhD candidate
Waterloo, Ont.

Reginald Foulds, 60
'Jack of all Trades'
Toronto, Ont.

Andreea Radulescu, 33
IT Analyist
Toronto, Ont.

Joanna Hindle, 42
High school teacher
Whistler, BC

Karen Cumming, 53
Television reporter
Burlington, Ont.

Susan Weinreich, 42
Scout leader
Vancouver, BC

A seventh candidate, James Scott Berdahl, from Whitehorse, Yukon was also chosen, but according to CBC News, he resigned from the program when he got word of his selection for Round 3.

From here, the next round of cuts will still be up to the selection committee, but the selection process will take place in front of us, either broadcast over the web or on television, for the world to see.

The 'Mars 100', as they're being called, will now go through a round of public interviews, but will also participate in a series of group challenges to prove to us that they're the best to go.

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The Mars One Roadmap

The concept behind Mars One's plan is simple enough. Land a team of four people on the planet Mars by 2025, and follow this up with an additional team of four every two years afterward.

With nearly a decade of preparation ahead of them, the plan itself is far from simple. Once the final teams are selected, they will go into a concentrated training program, designed to prepare them to live the rest of their lives on another planet, far from home, in an environment that is ill-suited for human survival.

Meanwhile, the company will be involved in developing, testing and constructing not only the spacecraft that will carry these people to the Red Planet and land them there safely, but also the habitat that will sustain them while they are there.

Credit: Bryan Versteeg and Mars One

The preparations on Mars for this first colony will be extensive as well, starting with robotic missions - a lander and satellite, followed up by a rover - to scout out a proper location, and to ensure the colonists will have all the raw resources available to them that the planet can supply (water, building materials, etc). After that, cargo ships will be launched, which will land at the colony spot and establish a fully-functional outpost before any people involved with the project even leave Earth.

Sources: Mars One, CBC News.

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