Because of the upcoming release of the Mars Command & Control panel we have more questions about it. Today we will answer one of them in the "You ask, we answer" rubric.
Regarding leveling the colonist through the Command & Control panel, how will that work?
The current plan is to allow character progression in real-time. Progression in this case means selecting abilities and skills to train, similar to how EVE Online’s progression system. The C&C panel lets you make those choices and progress towards acquiring new skills will happen whether or not you’re in the game. Colonists will also be able to be bought and sold via the Command & Control panel which will add value to the earliest colonists (as they would potentially have the most time spent gaining skills).