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Two UCF students have made it one step closer to becoming the first humans on Mars.

On Feb. 16, Mars One foundation announced the Mars 100 Round Three candidates to colonize Mars. Among them are UCF students, computer science major Taranjeet Singh Bhatia and Ph.D. physics student George Hatcher.

From the initial 202,586 applicants, Round Three narrowed them down to 50 men and women from all around the world. According to the Mars One website, 39 are from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, seven from Africa and seven from Oceania.

Of the 100 current finalists, only 24 will be selected for the one-way trip into space. The initial trip is planned to send four people to Mars in 2024 and then additional crews will be sent every two years. Just putting the first four people on Mars is reported by USA Today to cost $6 billion.

The hopeful candidates are expected to endure more training sessions to narrow down the finalists. A trailer of a reality series is planned to be released that will chronicle the process that leads to the final 24 candidates.

Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation aiming to establish permanent human life on Mars.

To view the complete list of Mars One candidates and learn more about each of them, visit Meet The Mars 100

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Marina Guerges is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @marinaguerges or email her at MarinaG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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