Coimbatore, February 18: A 19-year old engineering student, among the three Indians in the short-listed 100 applicants for the one-way trip to Mars in 2024, is brimming with confidence of making it to the red planet.
"I feel proud and happy for being selected from over 2.5 lakh applicants. My parents are also very happy after hearing about the selection," Shraddha Prasad, who is doing mechanical engineering in Amrita University campus here told reporters.
Her parents were reluctant in this type of risky activities, but after seeing the process they were now happy, she said adding her friends were also equally thrilled.
The names of Shraddha, 29-year old Taranjeet Singh Bhatia studying Doctorate in Computer Science at University of Central Florida and Dubai-based Ritika Singh, 29, figure among the list of 100 who will move on to the next round of the ambitious private mission that aims to send four people on a permanent basis to Mars.
Though the list by Netherlands-based non-profit organisation Mars One, which aims to set up a human colony on Mars became public yesterday, Shraddha, hailing from Kerala said she came to know about her selection a couple of days ago.
She said she was confident of winning the fourth and final round of interview. "I am fully confident to make it in the final list. I will land and settle down in Mars," she said.
On the selection process, she said she applied in July 2013 and there were online interview, personality and medical tests. The fourth and final interview's date was yet to be fixed.
The next selection rounds will focus on composing teams that can endure all the hardships of a permanent settlement on Mars. The candidates will receive their first shot at training in the copy of the Mars Outpost on Earth and will demonstrate their suitability to perform well in a team.
The Mars 100 round three candidates include 50 men and 50 women with 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa and 7 from Oceania.