An Edmonton woman may become one of the few pioneers to head to Mars and fulfill a dream of travelling to space.
Christy Foley has made the shortlist for Mars One, a Dutch-led one-way mission that hopes to colonize the red planet by 2025.
She is joined by 31-year-old Calgary engineer Zac Trolley on the shortlist, who told CBC News the payoffs of the project are huge.
"I’ve always loved space,” Foley said to Global News. “In elementary school I even said in my yearbook I wanted to colonize the moon, but I’m willing to miss the moon to hit Mars.”
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Foley and her husband both applied for the project, but her husband did not make the shortlist.
"It was definitely disappointing,” Foley told Metro, and her husband would continue to try his luck for future applications for the mission.
More than 200,000 people have applied to join the $6-billion project, including nearly 7,000 Canadians.
The brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Bas Landorp, the project will use existing technology and be funded through sponsors and private investors. Mars One says primary funding will come from a "global media event" that will feature the astronauts and their preparation.
At first, the home base would be limited to provisions, oxygen and water, but would expand to everything the settlers might need, including solar panels.
If accepted and the mission takes flight, the 24 candidates will spend the rest of their lives settling a colony on the red planet.
The next selection phases will include rigorous simulations that focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of remaining candidates.
"We expect to begin understanding what is motivating our candidates to take this giant leap for humankind," said Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer of Mars One.
"This is where it really gets exciting."
With files from The Canadian Press