In the end, more than 200,000 people applied, but just 1,058 candidates got an email Monday letting them know they're still in the running for a one-way ticket to Mars. The Mars One project to send average Joes to colonize the red planet has narrowed down its list of applicants significantly, but more cuts are needed to get that number down to the final 40 who will blast off beginning in 2024. Who made the cut this round? Some 297 Americans, plus an 81-year-old who would be in his or her 90s at the time of launch. He or she beat out anyone "not taking the mission seriously," including a number of candidates who filmed their video applications in the nude, the Telegraph reports.
That may make for tamer reality TV: CEO Bas Lansdorp is still hoping to turn the selection process into a reality show, and viewers might get a chance to vote on who should make the trip. "We fully anticipate our remaining candidates to become celebrities in their towns, cities, and in many cases, countries," Lansdorp told Space.com. "It's about to get very interesting." Negotiations are under way "with a major studio for an overall deal for film and television properties," he added. As for what comes next, "several selection phases in 2014 and 2015 will include rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with [a] focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates," Mars One's chief medical officer explains.