Photo: samfoxie, flickr
From an applicant pool of over 200,000, just over a thousand people remain in contention to be the the first residents of Mars—and many of them are from “The Peg,” the organizers say.
Mars One, a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, plans to create a permanent human colony on the red planet by 2025. Over five hundred Winnipeg residents survived the first cut and are still candidates for the final spaceflight crew of four.
“The way I see it, I have 23 years of experience surviving in an alternating torment of icy Hoth and burning hell,” said life-long resident Christopher Dougherty, from his flat in Wolseley. “Plus, I can long-jump over panhandlers, dodge hunting knives, and scale my apartment building’s wall to avoid my landlord. What more survival skills would I need there?”
“It was funny to hear the media reporting that Winnipeg was colder than Mars,” said applicant Jeanette Leroux, from St. Boniface. “It was like it was actual news or something. Like people didn’t already know.”
If she’s selected for the final four, Leroux won’t be taking her husband. While he also applied for the mission and successfully made it through the first round of cuts, Leroux was clear, “He’ll never make it into the capsule. He just won’t.”
While bad weather and bad relationships were common themes for escape, they weren’t completely inclusive. Dave Trevino, a musician/waiter in Osborne Village, has his own reasons to leave town.
“I want to be the first beatnik in space,” he said. “I don’t know what the cultural pull there will be, but whatever that is, I’ll be the counter-culture.”
Trevino, who plans to take his guitar into space, is also attracted by the notion of a captive audience.
“It’ll be larger than the crowds I’m playing to now. Three’s a crowd, right?”