[caption id="attachment_76777" align="aligncenter" width="536"] Sooke, Vancouver Island - a local woman from the southern city of this island stands poised to make history if she is ultimately selected for the first manned mission to Mars.[/caption]
Vancouver Island Woman on Short List for One Way Trip to Mars
Sooke, Vancouver Island - a local woman from the southern city of this island stands poised to make history if she is ultimately selected for the first manned mission to Mars.
Plans are underway to prepare the first ever colony to inhabit the red planet. If all goes according to schedule, the trip to Mars should begin in ten years. In all, forty people will be part of this initial colony and for every participant, the trip will be a one way destination.
Now, it has been announced that Canadian Marina Miral, age 30, is on that short list. It was only this week that she received her official notice of passing the most recent selection process.
The project is formally known as "The Mars One Project" and started off with 200,000 applicants.
That list has now been narrowed down to 1,000 people. Put another way, Miral now has a 1 in 25 chance of being selected. She admits she was unable to hide her satisfaction over making the recent short list. However, three more elimination rounds will be conducted over the next two years until the 40 member crew is finalized. Miral says this is something she has dreamed of doing since watching Star Trek as a child.
Truth be told, the whole concept of traveling to a foreign planet for a one-way lifetime expedition reads more like something out of an Ursula K. Le Guin Hainesh novel, but semantics aside, it will take a commitment of enormous sacrifice on the part of Miral to be join that interstellar pioneer community. For her part, she considers the selection process akin to joining the Starfleet Academy.
According to the Mars one website, the red planet isn't really all that different from Earth:
The Earth is much like its "sister planet" Venus in bulk composition, size and surface gravity, but Mars' similarities to Earth are more compelling when considering colonization. These include:
The Martian day (or sol) is very close in duration to Earth's. A solar day on Mars is 24 hours 39 minutes 35.244 seconds. (See timekeeping on Mars.)
Mars has a surface area that is 28.4% of Earth's, only slightly less than the amount of dry land on Earth (which is 29.2% of Earth's surface). Mars has half the radius of Earth and only one-tenth the mass. This means that it has a smaller volume (~15%) and lower average density than Earth.
Mars has an axial tilt of 25.19°, compared with Earth's 23.44°. As a result, Mars has seasons much like Earth, though they last nearly twice as long because the Martian year is about 1.88 Earth years. The Martian north pole currently points at Cygnus, not Ursa Minor.
Mars has an atmosphere. Although it is very thin (about 0.7% of Earth's atmosphere) it provides some protection from solar and cosmic radiation and has been used successfully for aerobraking of spacecraft.
Recent observations by NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Phoenix Lander confirm the presence of water ice on Mars. Mars appears to have significant quantities of all the elements necessary to support Earth-based life.
Keep up with the project by following the Mars One twitter page.