One-way ticket: SA Mars hopefuls need more votes

2013-04-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Six South Africans are among thousands of people who have applied to go to Mars — on a one-way ticket.

The company Mars One plans a reality series to finance the first manned expedition to the red planet, and last week asked for applications for the berths — two men and two women who are prepared to boldly go into space, and never return.

However, the six South Africans are not garnering much support in online voting for the participants, and locals will have to display more passion and creativity in order to get picked.

Mars One claims it will be able to send four people to Mars in 2022, arriving after an eight-month flight in March 2023.

Applicants must be older than 18 and must accept that they won’t be coming home.

Mars One plans to show the whole process, from selection and training to the sojourn on Mars, as a worldwide reality show. There will be four entry rounds, the first of which runs until August 31.

The South African applicants so far are:

• Dominic (21): He says he’s looking for direction in life and can’t decide what he wants to do. “I am logical and creative, but I think I now know what direction I must go: Upwards!”

• Richard (19): “I’m studying how to function on one hour’s sleep a week, or to put it another way: engineering. My biggest fear is to be stuck behind a desk all my life.”

• Donovan (26): “I’ve got a real interest in the universe, love learning new and interesting things, like where we come from.”

• Peter (32): “My sense of humour is like the Ferrari in my garage. I haven’t got one.”

• Kobus (30): “I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro, jumped out of an areoplane and now I want to go to Mars. I believe humanity’s future lies in the stars.”

• Xabiso (23): “It’s the most important step in the history of mankind. My whole life I’ve dreamed of going to space.”

Visit to apply.

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