justin semenoff

Justin Semenoff has made it to the next round of the Mars One project. (CBC)

A Saskatoon man is one step closer to walking on the surface of Mars.

Justin Semenoff has made it to the next round in the Mars One project. The privately-funded space program plans to send 24 astronauts to the Red Planet starting in 2023.

This morning, the project announced it had cut down its list of 200,000 applicants to a more-manageable 1,058. Semenoff said he's excited to be on the short list.

"Seeing it this morning, and then getting the email that I'm going to the next round has just been ... my heart's still beating," Semenoff said.

Despite his excitement, there's a hitch to the plan. The Mars One mission would be a one-way trip and all of the astronauts will stay there for the rest of their lives.

"I'm still excited to push forward with it," he said. "I'm still looking at it as something that needs to be sought after."

Semenoff is an army combat engineer in the Canadian Forces and has experience as a welder and blacksmith.

Once they arrive on Mars, the astronauts plan to set up a colony on the planet.

Mars One said the next selection phases will take place over the next two years. According to a press release, they will include, "rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with a focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates."

Seventy-five candidates from Canada made it to the next round of the project.