Mars One says it will have a mission to the red planet in 2022, and it is seeking applicants to go – and never return.
“It’s likely that there will be a crematorium,” said Mars One CEO. “It’s up to the people on Mars to decide what to do with their dead.”
Now I don’t know how many parents would be excited for their kids to be volunteered for a mission of that magnitude, but Abigail Harrison is making it her life goal to go to Mars.
“Since I was just five years-old, I’ve wanted to be an astronaut,” says the now 15 year old on her blog, Astronaut Abby. “When you’re that young and you have that big of a dream, most people just ignore you. But I stuck with it. I made plans, I worked hard, and I focused on my goal. As I got older and continued to stay focused on science technology engineering and math (STEM), people in my life (my family, friends, teachers), began to notice and encouraged me to dream big. I had huge aspirations, and was fortunate to have people around me telling me that I could achieve them.”
Her dreams are big, and her aspirations are massive. Abby has the year 2030 circled on a distant calendar as the year she will go to Mars.
Another step in her education will happen this spring when she will be the Earth-based liaison for Luca Parmitano when he heads to the International Space Station next month. Harrison will have daily conversastions with Parmitano from the ISS and she will share his photos, videos, diaries, and insight via her blog in much the same way Commander Chris Hadfield has captured the world’s imagination during his stint aboard the ISS.
But back to that whole going to Mars thing.
“The curiosity of the unknown is why I’m focused on Mars,” she told Mashable. “There is so much we can learn; it’s just an outstanding amount of knowledge waiting there for us to discover.”
Above all, Abby hails her relationship with Luca as a great example of mentorship. He took time and interest in a kid with a dream, and that dream now has roots and a chance to grow. It’s a great story of a kid with a dream and adults willing to take the time to help it happen.
Her mother, Nicole, saw Abby’s dreams and instead of dismissing them, she challenged her to achieve them.
“She came back a week later with two sheets of paper and said, ‘Mom there are two ways to become an astronaut: civilian and military. Here are the two paths and this is what I am going to do to make my dream happen.’”
Abby’s a great kid with big dreams, but they would have withered without encouragement.
Image via Astronaut Abby