Fun Fact Friday: Moving to Mars

520px-Phoenix_landing

NASA artist’s rendering of the Mars lander.

Did you know that thousands of people have volunteered to move to Mars? It’s true!

In 2012, a Dutch nonprofit called Mars One put out a call for applicants to travel to Mars. The only catch is that they have to be prepared to stay there for the rest of their lives!

As of this year, the pool of candidates have been narrowed down to 100, 50 men and 50 women. Mars One plans to have its first unmanned launch in 2018, with plans for a manned launch set for 2025.

The idea of permanent colonization is actually nothing new, as one of the earliest proposals was in 1998, at the International Space Development Conference. According to Wikipedia, space activist Bruce Mackenzie argued that since the mission could be done with less difficulty and expense if the astronauts were not required to return to Earth, the first mission to Mars should be a settlement, not a visit.

Needless to say, it takes a unique type of person to be willing to leave all the comforts of home behind, back on Earth. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin said, of Mars colonization, “those who are on board should think of themselves as pioneers. Like the Pilgrims who came to the New World or the families who headed to the Wild West, they should not plan on coming back home.”

Want to learn more about Mars? Check out Journey to the Extreme: Virtual Field Trip to Mars on Discovery Education Streaming Plus!

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