No Minnesotans to Mars: 4 from state miss the cut for space mission


If there's a human colony on Mars in the near future, there may not be any Minnesotans in it.

Mars One, a Netherlands nonprofit famously planning a "one-way trip" to the red planet, has published a list of finalists for the mission, and none of the four Minnesotans who applied were on it, The Pioneer Press points out.

The four made headlines when they were announced as semifinalists back in November. Quite a feat, considering the number of other volunteers against whom they were competing – according to the Mars One website, there were 202,586 applicants.

The mission calls for serious guts – the nonprofit acknowledges that astronauts on the one-way trip would have to say "goodbye to friends and family forever," as they set off to establish a Martian colony.

Paul Larson, one of the Minnesota applicants and a St. Cloud State University grad, told the St. Cloud Times the application process focused on the challenges presented by such a sacrifice.

"It was more about the psychology that they were trying to prepare the participants for, because you're going to have to live in a bubble for the rest of your life," Larson said.

He told the paper he thinks he "blew it" on a technological question, but he seems to be taking the loss in stride. Larson says he'll keep applying as long as Mars One will allow him to do so.

Looks like his next shot is coming up soon – Mars One says those who didn't make the cut this time can reapply in a new application round opening later this year.

They plan to send the first crew to the red planet in 2024.

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