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Why this Filipina volunteered to live and die in Mars
« on: March 01, 2015, 01:19:37 AM »
ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 02/28/2015 4:00 PM


mars - Why this Filipina volunteered to live and die in Mars - Lifestyle, Culture and Arts


MANILA - To be like Christopher Columbus, the famous Italian explorer better known as the "man that discovered America."

This was how 24-year-old Minerva Rañeses, explained her decision to join the Mars One initiative --a project that aims to send people to the Red Planet by 2024, with four more going every two years.

The catch is that the people sent via the mission that aims to start a colony on Mars can never return as the technology to bring them back to Earth simply does not exist yet.

In addition, according to a study, the first humans to ever set foot in the fourth planet from the Sun will likely survive for only 68 days.

Despite the risk and the thought of facing death away from her family, Rañeses, one of the 100 men and women still in the running for the one-way ticket, said that it is her opportunity to be part of history.

"I never thought I'd live to see the day that humans will begin to explore in a way that Columbus did back in the time," she said in an interview with ANC on Friday.

"I just thought it would be my descendants, my children, my great grandchildren who will do the exploring. I just never thought that I would have the opportunity to do this," she added.

A graduate of St. Scholastica's College in Manila, Rañeses describes herself as an "intellectual wanderer". She is one of the two Filipinas chosen from over 200,000 applicants, with the other being an entrepreneur named Jaymee Del Rosario.

Asked if she had any hesitations in joining the highly-controversial project, she said: "Of course, this is a one way trip so I had to know if I'm ready to leave everything behind."

Should she be chosen to be part of the final 24 that will be shuttled off to Mars, Rañeses said that she will be bringing with her, aside from pen and paper, a picture of her family.

"I really want to bring a nice family picture from when I was young. Something candid. Something to hold," she said.

The initiative is backed by "Big Brother" producer Endemol, and the television company intends to make a show documenting the progress the final pool of aspirants will make as they train for the mission.

Rañeses revealed that they have yet to be thoroughly briefed about the details of their training, but have been told to prepare themselves mentally.

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