100 Candidates Selected for One-Way Mission to Mars

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Over the past two years, more than 200,000 people have applied to be the first colonists on Mars (that we know of), and now the pool has been narrowed down to 100. The Dutch nonprofit Mars One intends to send just four people on a one-way mission to the red planet that’s scheduled to leave Earth in 2024. According to the Washington Post, the most recent cut was made after chief medical officer Norbert Kraft interviewed 660 candidates. Now 24 people will be selected for training by undergoing the most rigorous competition known to humankind: being a reality-show contestant.

The project will be partially funded by a reality TV show that will follow the candidates as they’re broken into teams and train in a replica of the Mars Outpost on Earth.

Supposedly Mars One is looking for the most dedicated candidates, not those with specific qualifications; however, all but 19 of the 100 finalists have college degrees. Melissa Ede, a transgender taxi driver from England who did not make the cut, tells Newsweek that she feels she only made it as far as she did because her story helped draw attention to the project. “It’s been a shock to everyone. I think they’ve made a big mistake because the people they’ve chosen are all PhD graduates or doctors, so in terms of the reality TV show these people haven’t really lived life,” she said, adding, “I feel quite let down by it all — I’ve given them so much. I got involved every way possible and even had the Mars One logo tattooed on my arm.”

Ede may be right. The new trailer features plenty of cool shots of space, but who’s going to be the show’s Snooki and JWoww?