Reginald Foulds, a helicopter pilot who has served with the Army Air Corps till his retirement in 1992, is chosen among the 100 aspiring astronauts who have made it to Round Three of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process. These 100 candidates have been filtered down from the previous two stages of 660 and 202,586 hopefuls to have applied for the Mars One mission around the globe.
The Pakistani candidate, who is aged 59, is currently settled in Canada with his wife, and is serving with the federal department for Disaster Management in Ontario. He has a son and a daughter, and has been settled in the country since 1996 when he was 42. Reginald has expressed complete determination in his interview video submitted to the selection team, expressing his years of military service to have polished his abilities for possessing attributes like coordinative leadership, professionalism, steadfastness, and a good sense of humor as well as a strong acumen for survival. He has quoted Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut as his inspiration for stepping forward in space and playing a paramount role in the dawn of a prospective new era in space history.
The announcement for the third round was made on the 16th of February. Reginald is the oldest of all shortlisted candidates, while the youngest shortlisted candidate is an Indian. Almost 40% of the finalists of the Third Round hail from the United States, while around 30% are from Europe. The candidates for Round Three will go through a ten year training program, during which the number of candidates will drop down to 24. Those 24 finalists will be segmented into six groups constituting of four astronauts each. The initial phase of the ten year training program involves a prolonged stint at the Mars Outpost in Earth, where they will be tested on physical as well as emotional grounds for coping up with their routine and ordeal expected for the mission.
The Mars One Mission, which will constitute a group of two men and two women to depart for Mars in 2025, is an initiative under a Dutch non-profit NGO. The organization has been leading a community platform to garner global support as well as selection campaign for astronauts as well as universities, with students providing projects as payloads to be taken along the Mars One Mission. After 2025, the Mars One Mission would continue to send groups of four astronauts every two years in an effort for establishing a sustainably community for human settlement on Mars. The first unmanned flight of the Mars One Mission, constituting the initial phases and equipment, is due to take off in 2018.
The journey alone will take about 6 to 7 months to land at the Red Planet. Astronauts for the mission will go for a one-way journey to permanently settle at Mars. With 2025 a long way ahead for the first manned flight for the mission, Reginald is expected to be 70 by the time he departs for Mars if he gets selected among the batch of first four astronauts for Mars One.