About 1,000 people might have to start saying goodbye to their families.
That’s because they could be heading to Mars — and they won’t be coming back.
Earlier this week, Mars One, a non-profit organization looking to establish the first human settlement on the red planet, revealed 1,058 applicants who were chosen as potential future inhabitants of Mars, CBS News reported.
Based in the Netherlands, Mars One is looking to send groups of four out to Mars every two years, starting in 2023, CBS reported. Those travelling won’t be able to return to Earth.
And the selection process is far from easy.
More than 200,000 applicants sent in video applications, which were sorted through by a team at Mars One, ABC News reported. Some took the process as a joke — by filming their video in the nude — while others showed off intellect and sophistication, ABC News said.
“We're extremely appreciative and impressed with the sheer number of people who submitted their applications,” said Ben Lansdrop, co-founder of Mars One, in a statement. “We even had a couple of applicants submit their videos in the nude.”
The United States led all countries with 297 accepted applicants, while Canada and India followed with 75 and 62 applicants, respectively, according to ABC News. A total of 586 men and 472 women were also chosen, ABC News said.
In 2014 and 2015, the 1,058 applicants will go through a rigorous training selection process, which will drain the pool to 40 people, according to The Los Angeles Times. Those 40 will then begin their own training for the mission to Mars in groups of seven. “And if everything goes according to plan, at that time a global audience will vote on which team will go to Mars in 2025,” The LA Times reported.
Mars One will look for funding from “exclusive partnerships and sponsorships” and “an Indiegogo campaign,” The L.A. Times reported. SingularityHub.com reported that Mars One recently secured a partnership with Lockheed Martin, a research and design company for advanced technology.
Videos of the selected have surfaced online and were highlighted by BuzzFeed. Before the first selections were made, BuzzFeed published 13 videos of unique and interesting applicants. Nine of Buzzfeed’s 13 selections were chosen for the next round of the application process.
One applicant highlighted by BuzzFeed, Sybelle Silverphoenix, wrote an email to the pop culture website, and said, “I was jumping all around screaming, I think I almost cried! If I could go back in time and tell my 4-year-old self this would happen, I think I would have been even more determined.”
Silverphoenix was one of many applicants who said she’d miss her family.
“I would miss my family and friends, and animals,” she said to BuzzFeed. “I love animals very much. If I could bring at least my cats and my daughter to Mars, I would. She wants to go too.”