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.
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.
"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.