This Documentary Explores the Lives of Five People Willing to Go on a One-Way Trip to Mars | Smart News | Smithsonian

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This Documentary Explores the Lives of Five People Willing to Go on a One-Way Trip to Mars

What drives a person to give it all up and set off into the unknown?

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What kind of person signs up for a one way trip to Mars? Who has it in them to give up everything they know—their home, their jobs, their friends... their planet, their safety, their loved ones? And why would they do it? In the short documentary Mars One Way, Vita Brevis films introduces us to five people who are weighing these questions.

Tentatively slated to begin sending people off in just ten years, the Mars One project plans to establish a manned colony on Mars. More than 200,000 people have signed up to be sent to the red planet, and in December the list was pared down to 1,058.

For millennia, humans have explored and pushed into the great unknown, but the Mars One volunteers are facing a challenge different than those faced by Columbus and his crew, or the even the ancient peoples who stepped out of Africa. Atop their rocket to Mars, these people don't have the option to turn back. It's not just possible that this will be a one-way trip; it's nearly guaranteed.

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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