Over 200,000 people have applied to take a one-way trip to Mars. A new digital short interviews five of those prospective Mars astronauts to find out who they are and why they would want to become a part of history.
"Mars One Way" documents the thought process of Cody Reeder, Casey Hunter, Will Robbins, Katelyn Kane, and Ken Sullivan. The five applicants all come from different backgrounds but have one similarity: they are more curious about life on Mars than attached to their current living situation on Earth.
"How do you react when your husband says, 'Guess what? It's one way. I'm not coming back'?" asks Becky Sullivan. If chosen, her husband, Ken, would leave the family, including their two kids, behind. "I'm kind of in the 'It's not real' phase right now."
"There's a lot more drama in our relationship lately, about the reality of, are you choosing family or are you choosing Mars?" adds Ken. "My little boy Connor, if he just came up to me and said, 'Dad, don't go,' that would probably change my mind."
The whole situation sounds as if it were lifted from a movie at best or an elaborate prank at worst. But it's all real life. Of the other volunteers profiled, a couple said they could change their mind. Hunter could be swayed away from the trip if he proposed to his girlfriend. Reeder said his girlfriend's telling him not to go might make him think otherwise.
That said, Hunter compares his life to that of a "turd in the toilet bowl of life. I just kind of float." And before mentioning his girlfriend, the professional beekeeper Reeder says he would miss his bees the most. They might be all in after all.
Mars One is a nonprofit organization created by Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders. Their goal is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. According to the project's website, astronaut training will begin next year. The first group of volunteers is set to depart in 2024.