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article imageMars One: Short list to get shorter — The personal interviews

By Karen Graham     Nov 28, 2014 in Science
Over the next few months, the 663 candidates who survived the first round selection process to become the first colonizers to go to Mars, will now go through an interview with Mars One's Chief Medical Officer. Those who survive will go on to round three.
There are only 663 candidates left from the original list of 1,058 lucky people who were chosen to become the first colonizers to go to Mars. Mars One, a Dutch non-profit organization led by entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, received over 200,000 applications from people in over 100 countries around the world. Now begins the process of whittling the group down, still further.
Mars One's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Norbert Kraft, will be interviewing the prospective candidates via video connection over a period of several months. It is understood that some of the interviews may be televised and available on the Internet. Dr. Kraft is eminently qualified for the position of Chief Medical Officer.
With 19 years of experience in aviation and aerospace research and development, his primary focus is on developing physiological and psychological countermeasures in combating the negative effects of long-duration spaceflight. He has worked with a number of international space agencies, including the Russian Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency. Since 2002, his research efforts at NASA have focused on developing new approaches to enhance team performance on space missions.
With the journey estimated to last seven to eight months, depending on the relative positions of Earth and Mars, the astronauts will be cooped up in tight quarters. They will take a bath using wet-wipes, as do the astronauts on the International Space Station, and there will be the constant noise of the ventilation and other mechanical systems to contend with. It will be a very difficult journey for all concerned.
Round Two Requirements
Besides being required to have a signed statement from a doctor attesting to the health of the candidate, emotional and psychological stability are essential. After all, living in close, confined quarters could create some stressful moments for many people. Personal drive and ambition are also needed for this project to succeed. Mars One insists their candidates do not need to know how to fly an airplane or have a science degree.
What Mars One wants is a candidate who exhibits Resiliency, Adaptability, Curiosity, Ability to Trust, and Creativity/Resourcefulness. So it is obvious that an excellent psychological profile is needed, as well as good humor and an ability to learn from one's mistakes. Candidates are reminded that, once they get to Mars, there is absolutely no returning home. That is a sobering thought for many people.
Those candidates making it through the interviews in round two will participate in group challenges to determine their suitability to be colonizers on Mars. This part of the process will weed out those who don't "play well with others." It actually is more serious than that. It will be an international competition with teams made up of candidates from different countries. This part of the selection process is supposed to be aired on TV.
More about mars one, personal interviews, medical statement, selection committee, qualifications
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