Has the decision to do scientific research, and also to volunteer to live on Mars been easy for you or a struggle?
I am happiest when dealing with a challenge.
Sometimes I find it difficult to justify spending so much time in my own head doing research, especially living in South Africa where there are so many people who need help with very basic issues. I find that teaching and interacting with students is a rewarding way to deal with this.
I spend my days thinking about fundamental questions that I have about the world around me. To me that is far more valuable than any amount of money, and I imagine continuing to do scientific research on Mars.
I think I have many struggles up ahead.
Fascinating discussion has been evoked by Mars One's plan to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2024. Knowing that I am one of 663 remaining candidates worldwide to become the first residents leaves me with a feeling of terror as well as incomparable excitement.