Would You Make it On Mars?

October 7th, 2013 by CASUDI

Wanna go to Mars, with 39 other explorers? Over 200,000 hopeful candidates have signed up already! So what are the selection criteria developed to choose the 40 candidates over the next 8 years to make the one-way (yes, you read that right!) journey to Mars and set up a “working model” colony there?

According to the MARS ONE project there are 8 must-have character traits or soft skills, for anyone selected to head to Mars and live there for the rest of their lives. Keep in mind, there is no coming back to Earth, ever! 


What does it really mean to develop and use these eight characteristics required by the MARS ONE selection process?

  • Deep Sense of Purpose ~ To me this means that you understand the why of your very existence and you have fully thought out the why you are going to Mars. You have your roadmap for the future well defined; you know where you are going in life (as different from the why), and you also have a sense of who you are going with. You are also very familiar with what you are willing and able to contribute to an experimental colony on another planet; a new community with some very different challenges than anyone has ever faced before. Hmmm; would that be the same for a new CEO of a company introducing a brand new technology? Was Apple like this in the early days?
  • Willingness to build and maintain healthy relationships ~ we all have different definitions as to what constitutes a healthy relationship, but think of it this way… if you had to select 39 people to spend the rest of your life with exclusively, what would a “healthy” relationship be? Would it be sharing without jealousy? Would it include wizard negotiation skills, meaning no dispute left unsettled? How about a big dose of empathy, being able to put yourself in the other persons shoes (spacesuit), and see their POV. And on the subject of failing would being competitive but happy or pleased when others win be a winning attitude for a healthy relationship?
  • The capacity for self-reflection ~ this might be restated as having a realistic view of oneself; including knowing ones best assets and the areas of greatest weakness. This could also mean being able to self-criticize or self-praise, but the key ingredient in this is “realistic”, and seeing things as they really are as you look inward. There is no place for ‘fake’, whether about yourself or what you see.
  • Ability to trust ~ does this mean that by assessing, analyzing and believing what you see for yourself, you are able develop a trust in others? Trust is a big factor in doing business today, especially with the social relationships we build online. Every day I hear how people are disillusioned in those they trusted online! This could lead to an inability to trust anyone and a “chip on the shoulder” syndrome. Millions of miles into deep space is no time to find out you can’t trust another.
  • Resilient ~ successful serial entrepreneurs are some of the most resilient individuals I know, so it’s no surprise that this part of the entrepreneurial mindset would be quite valuable in pioneering a colony on Mars. Resilient also implies never giving up, and not being discouraged by multiple failures. Very necessary for a successful start up, whether on Mars or on earth!
  • Adaptable ~ I believe only when you are actually on Mars, will you truly understand just how adaptable you need to be. There is adaptable in the entrepreneurial or business sense; we can understand that, but what about adapting to the environment, say one where ‘atmosphere’ as we know it simply does not exist. How will Mars One assess this characteristic or skill of a candidate, who needs adapt to a totally different environment, where I suspect some of us would actually go quite mad! Perhaps those who have spent a lifetime working in coal mines, would have a small inkling of what it will be like to adapt to living on Mars? I wonder if they will be taking canaries to Mars? (who knows what that means?)
  • Curious ~ the curiosity factor is a major component of problem solving and ‘design thinking’. It’s connecting the dots, finding the missing link, thinking outside the box, shredding the box and always looking for another, better way… even if for no other reason than you are interested in new, better and different. Perhaps curiosity is one of the first things that inspire people to sign up for Mars in the first place! Surely, we are all curious about Mars; however are you curious enough to sign on?
  • Resourceful ~ the dictionary defines resourceful as having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. I call it knowing the right questions to ask to find the right answers…. What are the FIVE KEY questions you need to ask before you head to Mars? Coming soon to the Entrepreneurs Questions blog!

Developing all these skills will perhaps help you be selected for a lifetime mission to Mars, but don’t overlook that each and every one of them will be very useful here on earth, if you stay here….

Just had a thought: I’m adding one more item to the above list; and that’s that you better feel totally at home with being on stage and in the “spotlight” for the rest of your life, on the worlds longest running Reality TV Show!

Will you make it on Mars? Tell us why!

who mars?


CASUDI Designing Success here on earth!


2 Responses to “Would You Make it On Mars?”

  1. darnoc Says:

    Rusted, dusty, fruit
    Pitted, marred, mysterious
    Milky Way’s Apple

    – from the collection of haiku’s on Mars spacecraft MAVEN

  2. FIVE KEY Questions if You Want to Go to Mars | Entrepreneurs QuestionsEntrepreneurs Questions Says:

    […] wondered what criteria the producers on the Mars One team would use to select the final 40. Spoiler Alert – answering […]

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