It was announced this week that the hunt is now on for colonists for Mars. No, not by NASA (who really believed George W. Bush when he announced plans to go to the Moon and Mars back in 2004, and what’s really been done since then other than some paperwork?) No, I’m talking about a private initiative based in the Netherlands called Mars One which hopes to raise a ton of private money and put human colonists on the Red Planet by 2023. Recruitment will begin over the next few months, and training for the…(dare I call them Martianauts?) will take about eight years.
Chief Medical Director for Mars One, Norbert Kraft, a former Sr. Research Associate at NASA states, “In my former work with NASA we established strict criteria for the selection and training of astronauts on long duration space flights. Gone are the days when bravery and the number of hours flying a supersonic jet were the top criteria. Now, we are more concerned with how well each astronaut works and lives with the others, in the long journey from Earth to Mars and for a lifetime of challenges ahead. Psychological stability, the ability to be at your best when things are at their worst is what Mars One is looking for. If you are the kind of person that everyone chooses to have on their island, then we want you to apply too.”
You need to be 18 or older, and have lots of other qualifications, but you can read all about it here.
The catch? Well, they have a chance of coming up with a way to get you to Mars, but there won’t be any way to get you back. It’s a one-way trip, and you’ll be alone on a whole planet with the rest of your team for two additional years, until the next group of colonists is expected to arrive.
Do you really feel like getting away from it all? How do prepare yourself mentally for something like that? Watch all the reruns of Gilligan’s Island?
Or maybe just haul out all of those lists that end “...would you take with you to a desert island?”