ZVEZDNYI GORODOK /Moscow region/, October 9. /TASS/. Candidates ready to risk their lives easily during space missions are not allowed to the Russian team of cosmonauts, Russia’s cosmonaut Gennady Padalka told a news conference on Friday.
"Our system of selection is trying to get rid of such candidates at the initial stage," he said. "Those [applying for one-way missions] are people with unstable minds, and we are not relying on them."
Kazakhstan’s cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov, who recently returned after a ten-day flight to the International Space Station (ISS), said if offered he would have considered for long and toughly an option of a one-way trip to Mars. At the same time, he said, any cosmonaut would be happy to participate in a round mission to Mars.
"It is a big opportunity to research new spheres of the space," he said. "I believe any cosmonaut would be happy to participate in a there-and-back flight."
Padalka and Aimbetov as well as Denmark’s Anders Mogensen returned from the ISS on September 12. Russia’s Padalka has broken the record for the longest total time spent in space by a single person. He has been in orbit for more than 878 days across five missions. The previous record holder, Russia’s Sergey Krikalyov, spent a total of 803 days in space.
A private project Mars One of a Dutch businessman will send to the fourth from the Sun planet a group of volunteers, whose task would be to establish there a colony, but they would not be able to return to the Earth. The first four participants are due to start for Mars in 2022. Organizers hope to receive financing for the program from sponsors and from revenues of an interactive reality show. Over 202,000 have applied already for participation in the program.