Five British made into the latest cull for a long journey to Mars, a one-way trip called Mars One Mission that will certainly be etched in the annals of history if ever it will push through.
The shortlisted hopefuls is now consists of 100 individuals selected from a whopping 202,586 original applicants. The private trip is backstopped by a reality TV show and the next surviving applicants will undergo a training program and 60 persons are expected to get the axe in the next selection.
The five British that were left standing in the field includes Maggie Lieu, Hannah Earnshaw, Alison Rigby, Ryan MacDonald and Clare Weedon.
A Birmingham and PhD student, Maggie Lieu, said that she would like to be the first person to deliver a baby while on Mars. She also added that she is anxious of what her family will react if she will be picked to be part of the mission. The family of Lieu’s compatriots had already expressed their family’s support.
A 23-year-old Durham University PhD student, Hannah Earnshaw quipped to Sky News that: “My family is pretty thrilled. They’re really happy for me. Obviously it’s going to be challenging, leaving Earth and not coming back. I’ve had support from my friends and family and we can still communicate via the internet.”
A 35-year-old science lab technician, Alison Rigby, had stated that her family has been supportive but at the same time worried. Rigby said, “I can understand their concerns; as time passes I realise more and more how deeply they feel for me and I for them.” Rigby added, “However as a potential representative of humanity on Mars I feel I have a responsibility to far more people.”
Two other Britons in the field are willing to strut their wares to make it into the next phase are 21-year old Ryan MacDonald, an Oxford University student and 27-year-old Virgin Media systems integration manager, Clare Weedon.
The 26 other Europeans made the cull together with 49 Americans, 16 Asians, and seven apiece Africans and seven Australians.
But many are doubtful that the would-be Martians will ever make the trip. Many view the Mars One Mission as publicity antics for the TV show that has vowed to fund the endeavor sending humans to Mars.
Big Brother producer Endemol has confirmed in a statement that he will be keeping his eyes on the aspiring astronauts as they plunge into a deep training for the mission,.
A famous astronaut during his heydays on the International Space Station, Commander Chris Hadfield, has stated that the project may be excessively optimistic and become a disappointment later on as he said to American magazine Matter, “I fear it’s going to be a little disillusioning for people because it’s presented as if it’s going to happen and so all those people are excited,” he told American magazine Matter.
However, Bars Lansdorp an enterprising businessman behind the project has said that it is genuine.
Lansdorp told the BBC in 2012, when the mission was just getting off the ground.”If you look at the team involved in Mars One, none of us would do this as a hoax.”
This mission will cost billions of dollars, will take thorough and tedious planning and the probability of landing safe in the so-called Red Planet is still uncertain.