Student Hopes To Become The First Mom On Mars

Maggie Lieu, an astrophysics doctorate student at the University of Birmingham, UK, is hoping to become the first mom on Mars. Within the next ten years – if all goes according to plan, – she will aboard a one-way flight to her destination, all thanks to the Mars One Project, a $5.9 billion (£3.9 billion) expedition that seeks to colonize the Red Planet.

After a preliminary round of selections, Lieu currently stands comfortably as one of 600 remaining candidates out of an initial pool of 200,000. However, the competition still remains fierce, as Mars One only expects to send a total of 40 people on the mission – ideally four members every two years, beginning as early as 2024.

If she makes the final cut, Lieu would then have to go through extensive training for a decade in order to ensure that she and her crewmembers are aptly prepared to survive on Mars. The new arrivals, for example, are expected to deal with the intense gravitational differences, as well as the extreme weather conditions (as cold as -62 degrees Celsius) and high amounts of radiation. Thus, vital medical, agricultural and electronic engineering skills are needed before the initial launch.

But those are just the physical obstacles. There’s also the possibility of never seeing her family or friends ever again – especially since it takes roughly 22 minutes alone for a message or email to be sent between Mars and Earth. According to Lieu, “…the trip is one way because there are no launch pads on Mars and it would require much more than the £3.9 billion currently budgeted for the trip to bring us home.”

Yet, Lieu is not deterred by this fact, “Because it is a colonization program, it’s inevitable that eventually someone will procreate and it would be incredible to be the first mother on Mars,” she states.

She also remains hopeful that the rapid pace of technological advancements will eventually permit Mars One leadership to bring people to and back from the Red Planet. Until then, she’s looking forward to the possibility of becoming the founding matron of Mars – regardless of the fact that she won’t have much of a pool to choose from.