Two Australians Among ‘Mars One’ Top Ten Hopefuls For One-Way Trip To Red Planet

By @snksounak on
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A rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft blasts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida December 5, 2014. A U.S. spaceship designed to one day fly astronauts to Mars blasted off on Friday for an unmanned trial run around Earth. A Delta 4 Heavy rocket, currently the biggest booster in the U.S. fleet, lifted off at 7:05 a.m. EST (1205 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

More than 200,000 people applied for being a part of Mars One. Two Australians are named among the top ten candidates ranked in accordance with points.

Mars One is a mission to send people on a one-way trip to Mars. The group published the names of the top 100 hopefuls, 50 women and 50 men. Eventually, there will be 24 people who will go on the trip, six crews by four. According to the Dutch non-profit organisation, the trips will start from 2024. There will be a trip in every two years as the group has plans to set up a human colony on the Red Planet.

There are two Australian who are among top ten probable names that will have the opportunity to breathe their last in Mars. The Australians who may be among the first people to land on Mars are Josh Richards and Dianne McGrath.

Richards, a 29-year-old physicist/engineer turned stand-up comedian, said that he had wanted to explore space since he was 10. He named Australian astronaut Andy Thomas as his inspiration. He said that he had seen Thomas on TV during STS-77. Richards plans to use his diverse background and problem-solving skills to support Mars One’s incredible mission, The Guardian reports.

McGrath calls herself a “leader, team player, project manager and creative problem-solver.” The 45-year-old has experience in sales, marketing, emergency services, government and the not-for-profit sectors. She has said that her experience provides her with a strong platform to work as a unit to deliver on outcomes. According to McGrath, her interest and growing expertise in sustainable food systems will be critical in a completely new environment for human habitation.

Mars One was founded in 2011 as Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders lay the foundation of the mission plan. The Astronaut Selection Program was launched in April 2013 at press conferences in New York and Shanghai. The first batch of the selected applicants is scheduled to start their training in 2015. The training will help the applicants develop the ability to deal with prolonged periods of time in a remote location. A Demonstration Mission as well as a Communication Satellite will be launched in 2018.

Read the complete list of top 100 selected candidates HERE.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au