Wednesday 17 January 2018

Cork engineer amongst final 100 candidates for Mars mission

Steve Menaa
Steve Menaa

David Kearns

An Irish-based engineer is one of the last 100 candidates for a one-way mission to Mars.

Steve Menaa, who lives in Cobh in County Cork, is the sole remaining Irish-based applicant for the Mars One project, which saw more than 200,000 people from around the world apply.

According to the Irish Examiner, the father-of-one will now battle to be among the next 40 candidates, before they're whittled down to 30 and then the final 24 who will begin training for the trip to Mars.  Cork engineer in final 100 candidates for Mars mission.

Read More: Hopeful ‘Irish Ambassador’ to Mars hasn't told his son yet

Thrilled with making it through, the IT engineer said: “Every great thing that was done by mankind was silly at first until someone did it. We are explorers by nature, if this mission proves to be successful that will inspire humankind to explore the solar system.”

Mr Menaa has been living in Ireland for seven years and is originally from Tunisia.

Another Irish-based candidate, Trinity College Dublin astrophysicist Dr Joseph Roche had questioned whether the Mars One project was ever likely to succeed following his withdrawn for the programme but Mr Menaa said: “I can understand some previous candidates’ concern.

Read More: Mars One mission is doomed, says Irish finalist

“I am confident of the Mars One project as we have the technology to do it.”

In March, Mars One, a Dutch company, said Dr Roche had breached confidentiality rules around the project and therefore was no longer under consideration for the project.

He claimed there had been no face-to-face meetings with the Mars One organisers except for a 10-minute interview conducted over Skype

According to Mars One, their first flight to Mars is scheduled to depart in 2020 using an unmanned probe.

Crews will then depart for their one-way journey to the red planet starting in 2026, with departures every 26 months after the initial crew has left.

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