In a press release this evening, Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder and CEO of Mars One, announced an international partnership with multi-award winning producer Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP, an Endemol company) to follow and screen the selection and training of Mars One astronauts.
DSP will be the exclusive worldwide production partner for the Mars One astronaut selection and training program, which will see 705 candidates, shortlisted from over 200,000 who applied, undergo the assessment processes. The candidates, from all walks of life, will be tested as part of a training program run by a panel comprised of scientists, adventurers and astronauts.
With the astronaut selection process already underway, the first installments of DSP’s production are expected to begin broadcasting around the world in early 2015. Further details will be announced.
In order to qualify for the mission, the candidates must demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills as well as the high levels of psychological and physical performance needed for the longest distance voyage in human history.
DSP will document the aspiring pioneers’ journeys every step of the way in the lead up to the mission, which will see the winners become the first to make the 300 million-mile, one way trip to establish permanent human life on the red planet.
DSP has a long established reputation for producing world class television programs and theatrical documentaries for UK, US and international broadcasters. It is part of Endemol, a world leading content creator with a global network of operations in over 30 countries including the USA, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as Latin America, India, Israel, South Africa and Australia. Endemol is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Iain Riddick, DSP’s Head of Special Projects and Digital Media, said, “It is a great privilege for DSP to be chosen to exclusively follow the incredible journeys of those who will make humankind’s first footprint on Mars. This has to be the world’s toughest job interview for what is without question a world-first opportunity and the human stories that emerge will captivate and inspire generations across the globe.”
“Bringing the story of our incredibly brave aspiring Martians to the world now officially begins with what we feel is a perfect partnership,” said Bas Lansdorp. “Our team felt all along that we needed a partner whose strength lies in factual storytelling to an international audience. DSP will provide that to Mars One, while allowing our selection committee to maintain control of the applicant selection process. This really is a perfect fit for both of us!”
Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. It has developed a mission plan, built upon existing technologies available from aerospace suppliers worldwide. Several of these suppliers are already under contract to Mars One, including Lockheed Martin and Paragon Space Development. Work on the first unmanned mission, scheduled for launch in 2018, has already started.
Mars One plans to land the first crew on Mars by 2025. The ambitious schedule is possible because the crews departing to Mars go there to stay. Instead of trying to bring crews back to Earth, Mars One plans to send additional crews every two years, establishing the first human settlement outside of the Earth. Mars One will select and train crews of astronauts. The search for astronauts began in April 2013. More than 200,000 applied for this first call for future Mars inhabitants.
Note from the editor: See ETCJ Science Education Editor Harry Keller‘s article, “Mars One: Exciting Adventure or Hoax?” It was published a little over a year ago, but the discussion, appended to the article, has been ongoing, lively, controversial, and informative. For other related articles, see Harry’s list of ETCJ publications.