A Moncton science professor is one step closer to receiving a one-way ticket to Mars to establish a human colony on the red planet.
Claude Gauthier, a Université de Moncton professor, has made the next cut of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process and that could put him on a space craft en route to Mars in the next decade.
"During the night, sometimes I'm dreaming of travelling on Mars," Gauthier said.
Gauthier was one of more than 200,000 people from 140 countries that initially applied to join Mars One — a $6-billion project that plans to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2025.
This week, Gauthier found out that he will be one of just 706 people worldwide, who will be interviewed by the Mars One selection committee.
Gauthier hasn't been given any details about the interview, but says he's anxious to meet the people who want to build a settlement on Mars by 2025.
“I'd like to meet those people to test their seriousness,” he said.
No one from Mars One was available to offer details on how many Canadians made the cut and what happens next.
But whatever the outcome, Gauthier said contemplating life on Mars has been an adventure.
'I have passed all the medical exams so I'm fit to go, ready to go, with younger people ... I think we could make up a good crew.' - Claude Gauthier
“This has changed the way I see my life and the life on Earth,” he said.
“It will never be the same for me and I hope that will be the same for other people too. “
After this round of interviews, there will be one more cut and whoever remains will be vying for one of 50 spots.
The final crew will be announced in 2015.
Gauthier, 61, said he if he is selected to be on the crew, he will likely be one of the oldest involved with the mission.
But he said that would only work to his advantage.
"I have the experience of life. And I think I could be very useful to a crew, to give stability," he said.
"I have passed all the medical exams so I'm fit to go, ready to go, with younger people ... I think we could make up a good crew."
Mars One, which was created by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Landorp, says the first four settlers would be followed by more groups.
The project intends to see the first crew leave Earth in 2024 and the crew is expected to land on Mars in 2025. The second crew would then leave in October 2026 and additional crews would land every two years.