By: Baylea Bruce @Baylea_Marie [Executive Yearbook Editor]
Out of over 200,000 people an elite 24 will be chosen for a chance of a lifetime. They will then go through long intense amount of training and preparation. Their mission is to sustain life on a barren, dusty red planet. No this isn’t the newest sci-fi movie, people are going to Mars with this exact mission. Laura Smith-Velazquez is hoping to be apart of this few that get to go on this life altering event.
Velazquez wanted to be an astronaut all of her life. She put in a lot of hard work to make her dreams a reality. The first half of Velazquez presentation was more an inspirational piece. How anybody could make their dreams a reality if they truly tried. While Velazquez isn’t currently an astronaut she is hoping to make the final cut to become one and be one of the first humans to live on Mars.
The application process is very intense. The candidates had to submit multiple videos, resumes, and undergo countless interviews and evaluations. The next round is group challenges. This challenge is going to be televised, much like a reality show. At the end viewers will be able to vote on which candidates they think should be able to make the long trip to space.
Once the final 24 candidates are chosen they will undergo multiple tests and prepare for what they might face. While this training will include learning how to do multiple different things so that a handful of humans can sustain life, it also will train the participants for everyday life. The journey to Mars isn’t a quick two hours, it’s nine months in a small carrier. Once the team arrives to Mars they have very small personal spaces and will be confined to the inside of their habitat for the most part. Candidates will have to get use to being in small spaces for long periods of time.
Perhaps the most astonishing part is what all these brave few would be giving up. Leaving everything they know, never to return again. For Velazquez she would be leaving behind her husband, who also applied but didn’t make the cut. She also would be leaving behind her friends and family. This may sound like a lot to lose, but it also is an opportunity to gain more knowledge and for Velasquez to finally make her dreams come true.
While Earth is rushing around, one might take the time to stop and look up at the stars in the sky. Eventually there will be actual human beings up their, truly reaching for the stars.