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    Anastasia Stepanova is through to the second round of applicant selection for the Mars One program

    Is the Red Planet Ready for This? Russian Girls Poised to Conquer Mars

    © Photo: Facebook/Mars Society Russia/Aleksandr Khokhlov
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    Four Russian girls reached the second stage of the selection process for Mars One – a proposed one-way colonization mission to the Red Planet.

    The crew selection process for the Mars One mission reached its second stage, with thousands of candidates from all over the world being whittled to only a hundred. And according to RIA Novosti, four of them are Russian girls, eager to blast off into space and take on the Red Planet.

    One of them, Moscow State University graduate Anastasia Stepanova, said she decided to apply for the mission after hearing about it on the news.

    "It was now or never. I filled out a form, recorded a video address and underwent psychological testing. I think many candidates didn’t even realize what were they signing up for, but no one attempted to stop them from trying," she recalled.

    Anastasia Stepanova is through to the second round of applicant selection for the Mars One program.
    © Sputnik/ Kirill Kallinikov
    Anastasia Stepanova is through to the second round of applicant selection for the Mars One program.

    Another, extreme sports enthusiast Ekaterina Ilyinskaya, said that back when she was a kid she decided to join a space mission if she ever gets an opportunity.

    "It is an exciting adventure which I would never be able to organize myself," Ilyinskaya said.

    The exact roles of the Mars One team members will be determined only after the selection process is over, although the colonists’ primary goal would most likely be the construction of the outpost itself. Meanwhile, the participants are taking part in survival training and sharpening their skills in preparation for the big day.

    Anastasia Stepanova is through to the second round of applicant selection for the Mars One program
    Anastasia Stepanova is through to the second round of applicant selection for the Mars One program

    "You got to be a mechanic, a doctor, a biologist and a geologist. If something happens to one of the crew members, he’d have to be replaced by another," Stepanova explained.

    Mars One is a private spaceflight project, proposed and led by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, the goal of which is to send the first manned mission – some 24 crew members — to Mars and to establish a permanent outpost on the planet.

    The manned flight, which is currently proposed to be launched in 2031, is expected to be preceded by several unmanned missions.

    Related:

    Exploring the Red Planet: Mars Sheds Light on the Origin of Life
    Journey into Hades: NASA’s Odyssey Takes Infrared Photos of Mars Moon Phobos
    Russian Space Research Institute Announces July 2020 Date for Mission to Mars
    Tags:
    Mars colony, preparations, selection, training, mission, space exploration, Mars One, Russia
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