A Vietnamese man has become one of 100 candidates in the running for a one-way trip to Mars.
Vu Xuan Linh, 32, has proceeded to the third round of the astronaut selection by Mars One, a nonprofit foundation that plans to establish a human settlement on Mars.
Linh successfully passed a personal online interview with Dr. Norbert Kraft, the Chief Medical Officer of the project.
“We were impressed with how many strong candidates participated in the interview round, which made it a very difficult selection” said Kraft.
Linh, a native of northern province of Thai Binh, studied in Singapore and the US before he worked for software companies in the two countries.
He returned to Vietnam in 2013.
“My parents were shocked when they read on a newspaper that I passed the second round of the selection. They also learnt that this would be a one-way mission,” said Linh.
“And now, my older sister is the only one who completely supports me," Linh said, adding that his wife may or may not take his side.
He said he would choose to follow his childhood dream of reaching a faraway planet, even though that means giving up a normal life with his family.
"It's a misery when you have a dream and do nothing to make it come true," he said. “I don’t want to bear such a misery.”
There are 50 men and 50 women advancing to the third round. The would-be colonizers come from all around the world -- 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, seven from Africa, and seven from Oceania.
The next selection rounds will focus on composing teams that can endure all the hardships of a permanent settlement on Mars.
According to Mars One, up to six groups of four will become full time employees and then they will train for the mission, if that ever happens.