Looks like members of the U.S. military are looking to make their mark on Mars. Mars One is a program that is not affiliated with any government, but is looking to send multiple space vehicles to Mars with the goal of inhabiting the planet by 2025. Many military members have signed up a volunteers for the mission with the hopes of fulfilling dreams of space flight.
Defense Tech — For Army Lt. Heidi Beemer, space flight has always been a dream, but that dream seemed out of reach for the light chemical decontamination platoon leader at Fort Campbell, Ky., until she read about the Mars One project.
Mars One is a program unaffiliated with any government that plans to send a series of spacecraft to Mars in hopes of inhabiting the red planet by 2025. The program is already signing up volunteers.
Beemer is one of the volunteers selected by project leaders as she is one of many U.S. troops who have signed up and made the cut.
“When this opportunity opened up to me, at 24 years old, there was no looking back, no second guessing. This is what I’ve wanted to do my entire life,” Beemer said.
She is one of slightly more than 1,000 men and women who recently learned they made the first cut toward selecting crews to begin settling the Red Planet.
If all goes as the Mars One project plans, a series of Mars-bound spacecraft – each with a crew of four – will begin landing on the planet at two year intervals starting in 2025.
More than 200,000 people from all over the world applied to be Mars pioneers and a number of those who passed muster in the first phase are U.S. service members or veterans, according to Dr. Norbert Kraft, formerly with NASA and now chief medical officer for Mars One.
Not all the applicants have released their names and profiles to the public, but Kraft 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.
Military experience is not a requirement, Kraft said, but those with that background do understand the importance of teamwork.
“The key question is how do you work as a team?” he said. “You have to complement each other, depend on each other. One thing is respect, and I think you learn that in the military … and you have to know what you want and you have to be serious.”
And Mars One is serious, given that each and every person selected has to be aware there is no coming back.
“The first ones 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 gravity.