The scientist applied to take part in a unique project, “Mars One,” that will see the first humans ever travel and colonize the Red Planet. Over 200,000 people applied to be among the initial 24 to make the trip in 2024 and Roche is among them.
Last year Roche spoke publicly about his commitment to his decision to be part of this project, despite the fact that he will never come back.
He said, “I know it sounds like a lot to give up but what you’ll be gaining as one of the first inter-planetary scientists is immense. Even if they called me right now and said there’s a taxi waiting outside, you need to go, I’d go in a heartbeat.”
Here’s a trailer Mars One released for the announcement of the third round, 100:
Having been chosen in the third round, Roche will now, at the very least, get to experience what living on Mars will be like. The final 100 candidates will undergo training to see how they deal with the physical exertions of the mission, while also seeing how they gel with their potential fellow astronauts.
The project is being backed by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, who will send a series of robotic missions to Mars over the coming years to prepare an infrastructure for the arrival of humans. The plan is that crews of four people will depart every two years, beginning in just under ten years. It’s estimated that the total cost of the project is around $5.7 billion.
The application numbers went from an initial 202,586 applicants to 660 candidates in the second round to the 100 left in the third round. These 100 finalists break down as 50 men and 50 women, with 39 coming from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania.
Lansdorf, co-founder & CEO of Mars One, said in a statement, “The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars…These aspiring Martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”
If this sounds like a dream job to you then never fear because according to Mars One’s release there will shortly be “a new application round that will open in 2015. New application opportunities will follow in order to train candidates that can replace eliminated teams and join the crews of settlers that will leave Earth to live on Mars.”
Here Roche gives a TED X talk about his decision to head to Mars: