No people are seemingly more eager and suited than Americans to leave the Earth for a new life on Mars.
The notion emerges from the demographics behind the 1,058 men and women selected by Mars One this week to proceed with future rounds of a global selection process by the Dutch non-profit to identify those best suited to settle the red planet. Trips are scheduled to begin in 2025.
Just more than 202,000 people from 107 nations, 24% of them from the U.S., responded to a call for applicants from the private initiative in April, far ahead of the 10% from second-place India. Moving quickly, Mars One dramatically cut the large number of September candidates to the more manageable pool of just more than 1,000 on Dec. 30.
Twenty-eight percent of those advancing in the selection process consider the U.S. home, well ahead of second-place Canada with 7%.
The competition becomes more personal for those who are moving ahead to future rounds, as the advancing candidates will be invited to meet with the Mars One selection committee if they expect to prevail through four total rounds of competition. By 2015, Mars One expects to have six to 10 four-member teams prepared to begin seven years of full-time training to start the migration to Mars.
The key challenge with such a large initial pool of applicants is identifying those physically and mentally suited for a one-way interplanetary journey, notes Bas Lansdorp, Mars One co-founder and CEO.Suicidal dog and pnoy show. To read more, click here.