Five Middle Easterners make it to Mars One third round

Only a 100 applicants eager to go on a one-way trip to the Red Planet have made it in the project’s latest round of cuts

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Only a 100 applicants eager to go on a one-way trip to the Red Planet have made it through the project’s latest round of cuts, including five Middle Easterners.

The Dutch non-profit foundation Mars One, which aims to establish the first human settlement on Mars, originally received more than 200,000 applicants during its first selection program in April 2013.

Five Middle Easterners are among the shortlisted: Mohammed Sallam, 32, a financial planner in a life insurance company from Egypt; Najeeb Waleed, 38, a computer engineer from Iraq; Elaheh Nouri, 21, an architecture student from Iran; Sadegh Modaresi, 30, a biology expert from Iran; and Saeed Ghandhari, 34, expert on human rights and international and Middle Eastern affairs from Iran, living in New Zealand.

The candidates will face another round of selections later this year, which will whittle down the final list to 24. The finalists will form six crews of four and will spend the next eight years training for the trip. Only four people will make the first one-way trip in 2024, with plans to send another crew every two years to colonize the Red Planet. The voyage itself is expected to take around seven months.

The colony will presumably have rovers, greenhouses and all the technology necessary to sustain a human life.

The first mission will be chronicled in a new show by Endemol, the company behind “Big Brother.” TV exposure is expected to gain some advertising revenue to fund the mission.

But space experts and analysts criticized the mission as impossible. A recent MIT study has found that, should the colonizers land successfully on the planet using currently available technology, the settlers are likely to survive for just 68 days.