It may sound like science fiction, but a non-profit corporation is intent on establishing a colony of 24 people on Mars by 2025. Now, three middle Tennesseans are among the first applicants to be considered for the mission.
"In 1997, my dad handed me a newspaper article, and it was about the Sojourner rover," said First Lieutenant Heidi Beemer of Fort Campbell. "This rover landed on Mars, it cut off, but it sent us back pictures. Ever since I saw this article, I said, 'We need to send people here.' "
For Beemer, work and life revolves around Fort Campbell. If all goes to plan, she may be making a 60 million mile move.
"You can ask anyone growing up, you can ask my parents, you can ask my teachers, they'll say I've wanted this way before Mars One existed," said Beemer. "I've been saying, 'I want to go to Mars.' "
Out of more than 200,000 applicants worldwide, Beemer is among the 1,000 chosen to go forward with Mars One. The minds behind the privately funded mission are looking to send 24 people to start a colony on Mars over an eight-year period starting in 2025.
"They're looking for people that are adaptable," said Beemer. "They're looking for people with curiosity, who want to do this for mankind, not just the celebrity or the fame but to help the human race move forward."
Beemer said she's been preparing for this all her life with an internship at NASA, time spent at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and doing work as a chemical officer dealing with homeland defense at Fort Campbell. Now, she hopes her leadership carries her through to the dream she's had for so long.
"I'm in that race," said Beemer. "I'm in that pool of people that one day will go. Why not me? Why not give myself that chance to accomplish this incredible feat."
Also in the first 1,000 selected by Mars One are fellow Fort Campbell soldier Chief Warrant Officer David Thomas Woodward and Erik Sapre of Gallatin.
Beemer said the main source of funding for the mission will be coming from the public. For more information on Mars One, visit their site at http://www.mars-one.com/.
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