Mars One human colony mission: SA in top 10

South Africa is in the top 10 countries for the number of candidates in the running to be part of Mars One’s mission to settle humans on Mars

By - January 19, 2014
Mars One settlement pods artist impression (credit Mars One and Bryan Versteeg)

Mars One, a non-profit foundation which aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2025, announced towards the end of 2013 that it had shortlisted 1,058 potential candidates for the job.

The applicant pool was culled from over 200,000, with candidates from 107 countries making it into the second round of the selection process.

Of the 107 nationalities represented, South Africa ranks ninth, with 25 candidates (20 male, 5 female) going through to round 2. Across the whole continent, 54 candidates (42 male, 12 female) made it through to the next round of selections.

Details of the 2014 selection phases have not been released yet, with Mars One saying in a press statement that negotiations with media companies for the rights to televise the selection processes were still ongoing.

According to the Mars One website, crew training is set to begin in 2015, followed by a number of unmanned missions until the first crew of 4 departs in 2024.

A team of four crew members will then depart every two years.

The table below shows the number of candidates, broken down by gender, from the top 10 countries represented in the second round of Mars One candidate selections:

Candidates by nationality Total Male Female
United States of America 297 149 148
Canada 75 32 43
India 62 40 22
Russia 52 22 30
Australia 43 26 17
China 40 21 19
United Kingdom 36 17 19
Spain 27 18 9
South Africa 25 20 5
Brazil 23 11 12

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Headline image credit: Bryan Versteeg for

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