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Cambridge student shortlisted for trip to Mars

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The Mars One project is hoping to take a group of people to the planet on a one-way trip, funded by TV coverage.

The first flight with two men and two women is scheduled for 2031 and would be a one-way trip - they’d stay there for the rest of their lives.

The Dutch company behind it first advertised for volunteers in 2013 and more than 200,000 people originally applied.

That has now been whittled down to 100 finalists, which includes University of Cambridge student, Ryan MacDonald.

Ryan MacDonald looking through a telescope.

Ryan is carrying out research at Cambridge into ways to detect life outside Earth and has written software for a new NASA telescope.

He said: "To be considered as one of just a hundred people on this planet who may get to go on one of the first expeditions to Mars is an incredibly exciting and enticing prospect.

"Thinking about the science we could do there and inspiring young people with this mission - it’s a wonderful time to be alive."

Artist's impression of a proposed Mars settlement
Mars One
Artist's impression of a proposed Mars settlement

Ryan is determined to stay in the selection process and training is planned to start towards the end of next year.

Ryan MacDonald reading a book.
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Schiaparelli artwork

Paul Rincon

Science editor, BBC News website

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