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Saturday, February 14, 2015

If I Die On Mars

In May, 2013, I interviewed Bas Lansdorp, CEO of Mars One, a project that hopes to send humans to Mars. More than 200,000 people applied, and they were narrowed down to 660 last month. The final 50 men and 50 women were supposed to be announced today, but I haven't seen an update. Lansdorp's hope is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2025, then send more people every couple of years.

There are a lot of obstacles the Mars One team will have to overcome before the mission lifts off, including funding (he says he needs $6 billion, others say probably $100 billion), technology (there's no rocket that can fly humans that far yet), and most of all, sustainability. Those who go will have to support themselves completely -- and will never return to Earth. Who would be willing to go on that one-way adventure, leaving everything and everyone they know behind forever?

Filmmaker Peter Savodnik found three of the Martian wannabes for this 10-minute documentary, produced for The Guardian, entitled "If I Die On Mars." Dina Masodi is an Iraqi who fled to the United States to study computer science. Jerimias Naiene is a doctor from Mozambique who was part of the team fighting Ebola. Ryan MacDonald is an English physics student at Oxford.

No word on whether they've made the top one hundred, but take a look at their stories...

Previously on Harris Online...