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Mars One shortlist includes 7 Canadians

02/16/2015 09:55 EST | Updated 04/18/2015 05:59 EDT
Seven Canadians, including a 42-year-old grandmother from Vancouver, have made the shortlist for the Mars One project that aims to establish the first human colony on Mars.

In her video profile, Scout leader Susan Higashio Weinreich, says now that her daughter is an adult with a family of her own, she's ready to for her next adventure.

"Ever since I was a small child, I have dreamed of becoming an astronaut.  I am filled with wonder about what is out there in space, and I long to find out," says Weinreich in her short biography on the Mars One website.

The Scout leader also jokes about her desire to get her space exploration badge and her tube of galactic glue in her lighthearted video on the Mars 1 website.

The other six Canadians on the shortlist of 100 candidates include:

- Jamie Scott Berdahl, 29 of Whitehorse, Yukon.

The Mars One project, is the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Bas Landorp. The $6 billion project will use existing technology and is being funded through sponsors and private investors.

The plan is for a crew of four to depart every two years starting in 2024, with the first groups arriving in 2025. But the organizers have warned that all tickets to the red planet will be one-way only.

Initially, Mars One had an applicant pool of more than 200,000 from 100 countries, with 8,243 applications from Canadians. In Dec. 2013, the organization picked 1,058 candidates to enter the second round of its selection progress.

One-third of those potential Mars settlers were eliminated after a review of their personal and health profiles, leaving 705 candidates, including 54 Canadians, moving to the third round. The list has now been shortened to 50 men and 50 women after interviews with the project's chief medical officer.

The next selection round will include training in a copy of the Mars outpost here on earth, according to a statement released by the project.

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