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Sikh student short-listed for one-way trip to Mars

February 17, 2015 | By

Chandigarh: Taranjeet Singh Bhatia is the first Sikh name short-listed for one-way mission to establish a colony on the Mars. As per media reports, more than 200,000 people applied for privately-funded mission.

The project, run by a Netherlands-based not-for-profit foundation Mars One, plans to select 24 people, train them on surviving the harsh conditions of outer space, send them to Mars in groups of four — but not bring them back.

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.

Taranjeet Singh Bhatia [File Photo]

Taranjeet Singh Bhatia [File Photo]

Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, 29, a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida, is among the three people from Indian subcontinent, who will move on to the next round of an ambitious private mission that aims to send four people on a trip to Mars in 2024. Two others from the subcontinent are Shradha Prasad (19) from Kerala and Ritika Singh (29) from Delhi.

29-year-old Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, lives in Orlando.

Taranjeet said, “All my life I always wanted to be involved in space missions. As a child, I spent hundreds of nights, gazing at the sky and always wanted aliens to abduct and take me into space.”

In an interview with Centric, Taranjeet stated his faith in Sikhi offers a path for honest living and equal treatment for all people. “Being a Sikh, for me, is like a great fortune,” he said. “Everyone wants happiness in their life, and Sikhism taught everything related to happiness.”

The final selection round will be aired on TV and internet across the globe. Selected candidates will participate in group challenges that demonstrate their suitability to become part of the project.

“The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars,” said Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One.

“These aspiring Martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be,” he added.

The Mars One selection committee will create an international group of four candidates, who would have to demonstrate their ability to live in harsh conditions and work under difficult circumstances. They would be trained in a replica of the Mars outpost. Up to six groups of four will become full-time employees of the Mars One astronaut corps.

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