Durbanites eye Mars one-way trip

Mars.
Mars.
Shutterstock

Durban - One might start to ask about the exodus from Durban to Mars, with two more locals on the shortlist of people worldwide vying for the one-way trip.

The Witness reported that Adriana Marais, a PhD student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's School of Chemistry and Physics, has already been named in the final countdown for selection for the Mars One Project.

Now Divashen Govender (22) and Michael Grundling (26), both from Pinetown, are also candidates for the one-way trip scheduled for 2024. Grundling is a computer technician.

They are among 705 people around the world short-listed as possible candidates for the 24-person Mars One plan to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2025.

Govender, currently doing a BSc in Applied Maths and Physics at UKZN, has been interested in science and space as long as he can remember.

"When we were 6 or 7 my cousins and I used to set ourselves science questions to see who could top the other."

Govender was immediately attracted to the project.

"It doesn't matter if I'm finally selected," he said. "I just wanted to be part of it."

He isn't fazed that, at present, there's no coming back from the red planet.

"I have no delusions about the risks involved. I have this ultimate dream and the will to pursue it no matter what," said Govender, who is inspired by astronaut Gus Grissom who died in 1967 during a training exercise for the Apollo 1 moon mission.

"He said, 'We are in a risky business, and… the conquest of space is worth the risk of life.'"

ZAR/USD
17.42
(+0.10)
ZAR/GBP
22.77
(+0.02)
ZAR/EUR
20.59
(-0.00)
ZAR/AUD
12.46
(+0.38)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.28)
Gold
1952.30
(+1.67)
Silver
27.44
(+7.13)
Platinum
960.00
(+3.27)
Brent Crude
45.32
(+2.09)
Palladium
2175.50
(+1.97)
All Share
57419.46
(+0.00)
Top 40
53082.08
(-0.08)
Financial 15
10227.06
(+0.86)
Industrial 25
75743.15
(-0.61)
Resource 10
59161.88
(+0.29)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 989 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6591 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1382 votes
Vote