Most of you may be wondering why would anyone, in their right mind, fly to and permanently settle on Mars, a planet with the largest volcano in the solar system and home to some of the largest dust storms. The answer is simple. They’re looking for an adventure of a lifetime. Going to Mars isn’t just about a mission to colonize it or to mine its metals, it’s about the discovery of new possible lifeforms and a new way of life in general.
As Mars is smaller than Earth, the gravity is only 37.6% of ours. That means the future generations born there will be significantly taller and proportionately slimmer, very much like the blue aliens in Avatar. This is a new change that the Mars One astronauts will have to adapt to. Adaptability is therefore one of the key traits of a successful Mars One candidate. A famous saying from the United States Marine Corps is that you have to have a “gung ho” attitude. This phrase is actually borrowed from Mandarin (工合), meaning you have to be enthusiastic and eager. This is the paramount requirement of any astronaut. Because things on Mars may be good this minute, while a tornado may suck up your teammate in the next. If you don’t have the positive mental attitude to back you up when you need it the most, you’ll have a mental breakdown on an inhospitable planet, at least 34 million miles (55 million kilometers) away from your nearest relative.
Being able to trust your teammates and being creative go without saying, so let’s look at the more interesting requirement of age. You’ll need to be a legal adult of 18 years or older. There’s no upper age limit as long as you’re still physically, mentally, and psychologically capable. If you did laser eye surgery in the past, then that’s an auto-disqualification from being a regular pilot, not to mention being a member of the astronaut program. The pressure difference is just too much for the weakened eyes to handle. You’ll also need to be able to speak English and be between 157 and 190cm tall. So how many of you are qualified, willing, and ready to go to Mars? I’m ready.