Army Chemical decontamination platoon leader, Lt. Heidi Beemer, was more than intrigued when she read about the Mars One Project. To her, and many like her, space exploration was simply a dream and certainly not attainable, or was it?
Just like straight out of a Science Fiction novel, the Mars One program aspires to send many spacecrafts to Mars and is already gaining the attention of many who are eager to sign up as volunteers.
Not everyone who signs up for this opportunity of a lifetime will make the cut but Beemer, along with over 1,000 other U.S. troops, did. The first cut is a big step toward the crew choice to begin settling on Mars, hoping to inhabit it by 2025.
The 24-year-old Beemer enthusiastically stated, “When this opportunity opened up to me…there was no looking back, no second guessing. This is what I’ve wanted to do my entire life.”
According to DefenseTech, “Not all the applicants have released their names and profiles to the public, but Kraft [Dr. Norbert Kraft, formally with NASA and now chief medical officer for Mars One] said they include a combat engineer, a CV-22 Osprey pilot, several fighter pilots, flight surgeons, a Navy Seal, a UH-60 Blackhawk mechanical test pilot and a Navy journalist.”
Each of the spacecraft’s crews of four, if things go according to Mars One’s plan, will begin landing on Mars in 2025 and then every two years thereafter.
Anyone who is accepted in the Mars One program does so knowing there is no coming back, it’s a one way ticket boys and girls.
“The first one there will be [permanent] Mars settlers. Mars has only 38 percent of Earth’s gravity. There will be a point of no return, where they can’t come back. Their bones would crumble in the heavier Earth’e gravity,” said Kraft.
There are many who said they would leave Earth behind and never look back, that they didn’t feel that this embark of a new life adventure meant they were leaving behind their old life.
“If I were to get selected and was on the first crew [in 2025] I’d be 54 years old when we landed. So I’d have pretty much lived a full life here on Earth, and so the opportunity to spend the rest of my life doing something so unique – Not many people who reach retirement age will get to do that.” Those were the words of CW4 David Woodward as he talked by phone to Military.com in Afghanistan.
It was Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders [formerly a NASA physicist] who founded the Mars One project and have raised the funds through sponsorship and fund raising projects. No government has any affiliation with Mars One, which was founded in 2011.
According to DefenseTech, the cost is staggering. Just to get the first crews on Mars will cost around $6 billion. Each crew going after that will be less, but still an unbelievable $4 billion.
When talking about her father, Beemer said he has been very supportive though very “taken aback” but not entirely surprised because she seemed always to have an interest in space. “If somebody’s going to do this it may as well be my kid,” she said of her father.
The once only dreamed about spaceships and Martians may come to fruition in my lifetime, something I would be honored to witness.
By, Lorra B. Chief writer for Silent Soldier