Israeli student shortlisted to travel to Mars

Mars One mission picks 26-year-old literature and philosophy major for Astronaut Selection Program.

An Israeli university student is one of 1,058 hopefuls to be selected as candidates to begin human life on Mars in 2025.

Sound like a joke? Mars One, a not-for-profit foundation hoping to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars, is totally serious about making the first footprint on the Red Planet.

In April 2013, the organization set out on a search for Astronauts. Nadav Neuman – a 26-year-old student majoring in literature and philosophy at the Open University in Ra’anana — was one of 200,000 applicants to apply for the first-ever human voyage to the Red Planet in 2024. Neuman triumphed over 10 other Israelis as well as numerous others to make it to the second round of hopefuls.

“The next several selection phases in 2014 and 2015 will include rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates. We expect to begin understanding what is motivating our candidates to take this giant leap for humankind. This is where it really gets exciting for Mars One, our applicants, and the communities they’re a part of,” Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer of Mars One and recipient of the 2013 NASA Group Achievement Award, said in a statement.

In his tongue-in-cheek video application, Neuman said he speaks fluent Martian and offers to be a spiritual guide for those joining him on the one-way mission.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.