Mars One has released the official numbers of the Astronaut Selection Program. According to these numbers, in the five-month application period, 202,586 people in total showed “interest” in Mars One’s adventure. It is not clear if this number, although impressive, is about actual applicants who payed the fee or people who applied without finishing the application process.
Mars One applicants come from over 140 countries; the largest numbers are from the United States (24%), India (10%), China (6%), Brazil (5%), Great Britain (4%), Canada (4%), Russia (4%), Mexico (4%), Philippines (2%), Spain (2%), Colombia (2%), Argentina (2%), Australia (1%), France (1%), Turkey (1%), Chile (1%), Ukraine (1%), Peru (1%), Germany (1%), Italy (1%) and Poland (1%).
From this applicant pool, the Mars One Selection Committee will select prospective Martian settlers in three additional rounds spread across two years. By 2015, six-ten teams of four individuals will be selected for seven years of full-time training. In 2023, one of these teams will become the first humans ever to land on Mars and live there for the rest of their lives.
The current applicants will be screened by the Mars One Selection Committee. This process is expected to take several months. Candidates selected to pass to the next round will be notified by the end of 2013. The second round of selection will start in 2014, where the candidates will be interviewed in person by a Mars One Selection Committee.
US leads the top country list with almost 48,000 applicants, followed by India and China.
Image caption: Artistic rendering of Mars One colony (Credits: Mars One).