Mars Needs Women (And Men): You Can Apply To Be A Martian Colonist

By David Wharton | Published


In addition to being an amazing accomplishment in and of itself, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has rekindled a bit of that explorer’s spirit that took us into space in the first place, and then on to the Moon. And while a manned mission to the Red Planet is inevitable, some are more ambitious in their plans than others. Will the first permanent settlement on Mars be established by NASA, or by some other governmental agency? Or perhaps by an ambitious private company such as SpaceX? How about as part of a reality show? That last one might sound like a long-shot, but Dutch nonprofit Mars One wants to do exactly that by 2023, and they’ve just released their requirements for prospective astronauts.

The selection process for Mars One astronauts won’t occur for a while yet, but for now you can peruse the requirements to see if you think you have the right stuff. If you’re afraid that your only relevant astronaut experience involves thousands of hours of Halo, fear not: Mars One will consider any applicants who meet their requirements, and those selected will then undergo eight years of training before beginning their voyage.

You can check out the full rundown on their website, but suffice to say you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and “intelligent, creative, psychologically stable and physically healthy.” Their requirements are broken down into “five key characteristics of an astronaut”: resiliency, adaptability, curiosity, ability to trust, and creativity/resourcefulness.

In a statement, Mars One chief medical director (and former NASA researcher) Norbert Kraft said, “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.” So if you snore, I’m guessing you’re right out.

All of this is big talk, but the question will be whether Mars One, or any of the other groups with their sights set on our red-hued neighbor, will actually be able to realize these ambitious plans. And while the idea of sending people to Mars as part of a reality show might seem silly or far-fetched…you have to admit, that’d be one hell of a show.