Eromosele Ighodalo, 32, is reaching for Mars. He is the only Nigerian and African that was short-listed. He is one of 100 persons selected across the globe to take a trip to the red planet soon. His name is among the 50 men and 50 women announced on February 16, for the first human trip to Mars.
Ighodalo qualified for top 100 out of 202,586 persons who applied to be selected for the Mars trip as confirmed by Bas Landsdorp, co-founder and chief executive officer of Mars One. Other soon-to-be Martians are 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia and seven from Oceania.
“These aspiring Martians (will) provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”
Ighodalo interviewed with realnewsmagazine,net online…
What is the Mars project all about?
Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation with the goal of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars. To prepare for this settlement, the first unmanned mission is scheduled to depart in 2020. Crews will depart for their one-way journey to Mars starting in 2026; subsequent crews will depart every 26 months after the initial crew has left for Mars. Mars One is a global initiative aiming to make this everyone’s mission to Mars, including yours. See more at: http://www.mars-one.com
How did you get to know about the Mars project?
I have always been a science/future technology/space technology enthusiast, and as thus I keep abreast of the trends and the advancement in the industry. I came about an article on the internet describing a certain Netherland non-profit foundation having the goal of a human settlement on mars, and as you would guess, that sparked the most excitement in me.
What were the selection criteria for the programme?
Please visit the frequently asked question section on the Mars One web site as described in the link below.
Who or which organisation is funding the programme? And how much do you have to pay for the trip?
The programme would be funded via media rights sponsors, investors and enthusiasts that would like to see this venture come to fruition, as it is for all humanity.
When are you likely to depart for Mars and for how long would you be there?
Being amongst the Mars 100 does not automatically qualify me as one of those that would go to the red planet. Mars One would conduct a third and fourth round for a final selection of 24 candidates that would eventually make the seven months one way trip to the red planet.
Don’t you feel scared that anything can happen on the way?
Of course, this scares me a little. As Richard Branson, once said, “If your dream does not scare you, it isn’t big enough”. It is in this light I choose to join the Mars One project. Mars One is, however, taking every necessary precaution, as various tests will be conducted and situation certified safe, before the equipment will be tested with humans.
What are the lessons you envisage young Nigerians can derive from your trip?
I would like to encourage every Nigerian to think out of the box, to push forward with that small idea regardless of the hindrances. African youths are constrained by so many factors including culture, religion, security, etc. And as such, we let go of ground breaking ideas that could impact positively on so many other lives. So I would strongly encourage our (teeming) youths to think, speak and act out of the box.
So the question and bottom line really is: Will Ighodalo make first the final list of 24 Martians willing to leave family and all else behind and be headed on a one-way journey to Mars out of the initial 202,586?
Answer: He is nutty enough to make the list. At HAMILTONSTYLE we respect him.