• The Mars One project intends to bring individuals that will permanently man stations in the Red Planet.

The Mars One project intends to bring individuals that will permanently man stations in the Red Planet. (Photo : Mars One)

Four Chinese nationals made it to the top 100 candidates for the worldwide Mars One project, from which 24 individuals will be selected to undergo a special training in preparation for the apparent sets of one-way trip to Mars, China National Radio announced on Feb. 21.

The candidates include China's Lin Xiaoxia (female) and Li Dapeng (male), U.S.-based Sue Ann Pien (female) and U.K.-based Maggie Lieu (female).

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Co-founded by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, Mars One is a non-profit project launched in 2013 aimed at establishing a permanent Mars-based manned station.

Starting in 2024, crews of four individuals are set to travel for Mars every two years. The winning candidates of the billion-dollar project will also be part of a reality television show.

"How many opportunities does one have to spend billions of dollars? I want to make good use of this opportunity to explore other planets and expand the presence of mankind in the universe," Li, a local forestry bureau gardener and a father in his 30s, shared.

A China Agricultural University graduate, Li said that he wants to go on with this project; however, if his family will show strong disapproval, he might quit halfway.

Since its launch, the project has earned some controversial remarks including the bizarreness of the one-way Martian trip idea and the issue of the campaign as only a con game.

Furthermore, some suspect that the participating individuals will have a difficult time coping up with the planet's hazardous climate and intense radiation.

However, the Mars One team has ensured that "a reliable living environment will be waiting for the astronauts when they leave Earth."

As an assurance, the team will send and set up demonstration and cargo missions, rovers and communication satellites ahead of the 24 participants.

"It's not assisted suicide, [because] we're not definitely going to die when we go up there," astrophysicist Maggie Lieu remarked.

"Mars One will try their best to make it as safe as possible before we go. It's not for 10 years' time, so technology will have advanced tremendously by then," she added.

The trip to Mars is expected to last for seven months.