The Dutch non-profit Mars One has announced its selection of candidates from a pool of more than 200,000 applicants wishing to establish human life on Martian soil. Just 1,058 people were chosen, from which only 24 will take a one-way trip to the Red Planet to form the new human settlement.
Before the final colonialists are selected, though, Mars One is planning to establish the first communications satellite network and has chosen Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) to conduct a concept study to develop an interplanetary communications system. In order for the future colony to communicate with Earth, Mars One is planning to use at least two satellites and has contracted Lockheed Martin to develop a mission concept study for its Mars lander spacecraft.
Both Lockheed Martin and SSTL will study interplanetary missions conducted by space agencies to determine the unique challenges in operating the spacecraft on Mars. The results are expected in May, according to Bas Lansdorp, Co-Founder and CEO of Mars One, adding that the satellite is scheduled for launch in 2018.