When I read in the paper for the first time about the possibility of applying to go to Mars on a one-way mission, I went cold and was engulfed by a wave of nausea. Suddenly a strange early childhood memory rushed back to me in all its clarity: We were riding plastic scooters up and down the driveway where I played after school some days, and when we stopped I asked my two friends, "If you could go into space on a spaceship to see what was there, further than we've been before, but you knew that you wouldn't come back, would you go? Just to see what was there..." They wrinkled their noses and scooted off, while I said determinedly, "I would". We must have been six or seven.
A lot of people have asked me this question, and at times I wonder if it's all real... but in fact Mars is the obvious destination for the next Great Trek. Humans are explorers by nature and now for the first time the possibility to colonise another planet has arisen. I feel like this is something I am meant to do rather than want to do. I feel like my whole life has been leading up to taking part in this awe-inspiring mission to call another planet home.