Why thousands of people want a one-way trip to Mars

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From the Red Chamber to the Red Planet, we find out why so many people want to be part of a one-way mission to Mars. And we hear why at least one astronaut believes the colonists' hopes to spend their final days on Mars are most likely to be buried on earth.



Duane Zilm & Raine Light, both hoping to be part of Mars One project

"Everybody in the world who is healthy, smart and mentally stable will be able to apply to become one of the first humans on Mars. So going to Mars is literally the next giant leap for mankind. I feel this is really something we should do, in these times of economic crisis and war, this can be something positive ... something adventurous ... something inspiring that the whole world can support together. This is really possible. Let's go to Mars." - Bas Lansdorp, Founder of Mars One

Bas Lansdorp is the founder of Mars One, a company that hopes to colonize the red planet. Even though it's offering just a one way trip, more than 80,000 people have applied to boldly go so far ... including some Canadians.

Mars Rovers 275.jpg

Mars rover. (NASA/MCT/Getty Images)

Raine Light is one. She's 29 and studying to become a paramedic. She was in Kamloops.

And Duane Zilm has also submitted an application. He's sixty-five and has a PHD in electrical engineering. He was a finalist for the Canadian astronaut program in 1983. He was in Kelowna.

Professor at Concordia University, Raye Kass

Raye Kass is an adviser for the Mars One project and has determined the criteria for the Mars One astronaut selection process. She's a professor of applied human sciences at Concordia University. She was in Montreal.

Engineer and Astronaut, Julie Payette

Earlier science fiction authors had their heroes dream their way to the Red Planet. Our next guest believes the Mars One proposal is a dream as well.

Julie Payette is a Canadian engineer and astronaut. She has flown two missions for the construction of the International Space Station. She's now a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington and the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Montreal Science Centre. Julie Payette joined us from Washington D.C.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath and Melissa Shaw.

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