February 24, 2015

Video: These Humans Would Rather Live On Mars

What lengths would you take to get some space?

More than 200,000 people took this concept to an extreme and applied to build the first human settlement on Mars in 2023. The catch? The 24 applicants who are eventually selected would take a one-way trip to the Red Planet, never to return. We’re talking to three finalists who have accepted this on The Kojo Nnamdi Show today.

The Dutch project called Mars One, which is entirely funded by crowdsourced donations and corporate sponsorship, is under scrutiny for its low budget. The $6 billion the group raised is reportedly on the low end of space travel. In 1989, NASA estimated that a Mars program would cost 80 times as much, around $500 billion. Money aside, skeptics have raised questions over the sheer size of the mission. No human has traveled beyond low Earth orbit since 1972, according to Vox, and low Earth orbit is a minor trip compared to deep space orbit.

“The difference between low Earth orbit and deep space exploration is the difference between sailing along the coast and crossing the ocean,” wrote science writer Joseph Stromberg.

But that didn’t stop the 100 finalists from rejoicing when they found out they were in the last round.

“I closed my office door and had a freakout,” finalist Kenya Armbrister told PBS Newshour. “There were some tears, some excitement and some trembling. It was exciting news.”

The final 100 were judged by many criteria, but the five characteristics Mars One listed as “key” for astronauts were resiliency, adaptability, curiosity, ability to trust and creativity/resourcefulness.

Who are these 100 people who want to leave Earth so badly? We can meet them because like every Mars One applicant, the finalists each submitted a personal video.

Meet Daniel Max Carey, the “child of the space age”:

And Oscar Mathews, an Eagle Scout with a Masters degree in Aerospace:

Here’s Sonia Nicole Van Meter, a woman who believes in the “inherent goodness of the world”:

Stream The Kojo Nnamdi Show live on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 12:06 p.m. to meet Daniel, Oscar and Sonia.

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