Mars or Family? Which Would You Choose?

mars-one-colony-astronauts-2As I was driving to work, listening to the antics of Heidi and Frank, this question was posed on KLOS 95.5, a radio station in Los Angeles, CA.

Would you? Could you? Is an unexpected-fantasy-come-to-life more important than the fate of your stable family union?

Mars One Project, a nonprofit organization, has been taking applications from anyone interested in establishing a permanent settlement on Mars, 10 years from now. In other words, applicants could be the winner of a one-way ticket to the red planet, establishing a new world. 200,000 people applied. 1,058 have made the final cut. 24 people will eventually be sent.

Among the 1,058 chosen is a 38 year old man from Utah. Problem is, he forgot to mention his desire to travel far and away to his wife and four children.

A light-hearted discussion ensued between Heidi and Frank, about the pros and cons. As I was listening, thinking about if it was me, and the husband was Rudy, and our children would be affected by their dad taking off forever, and while Frank thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, that the guy is just following his dream, and what is he supposed to do, not go?, Heidi stated, “…divorce him…”, just as I made the same claim out loud to myself in the confines of my car. The wife would need to begin thinking about her future without a husband, or maybe with a new one, someone she hoped to grow old with, hold hands with, share the end of her life with. The guy basically told his wife and family they are not his priority, so why stick around with someone whose choice is another life, a different path?  Frank considered the fact that it wouldn’t even happen for another 10 years, and that he may not be among the twenty-four finalists. So why punish him for a dream?

Would  you? Could you?

Mars or Family? Which Would You Choose?

(By the way, the wife did, or is planning to, divorce her husband, stating she didn’t want to stand in the way of his dreams.)

17 thoughts on “Mars or Family? Which Would You Choose?

  1. I was moved up further in the Round 2 selections. Since I had been following the Mars One project since they went public (May-June 2012) I brought the matter up first thing when I began dating my significant other (Nov 2012). She has known all along that I intend on applying to this mission when the doors open. That day came in April 2013. Never once did I hide this from her or my children. My boys are young adults pursuing dreams of their own in space exploration. A Nuclear physicist is one and an aerospace engineer is the other. Both children support me in my endeavors fully and are extremely proud of their father working hard to chase his dreams. My girlfriend on the other hand is heart-broken over the thought that this may actually happen. Perhaps, she never thought that this project would ever get off the ground and get the kind of world-wide attention it has now garnered. She has participated with me in creating an application video and even participated in local news reports in my area about her thoughts about the whole project. I admire her and love her unconditionally for supporting me with this project. If, for the next 10 years we can have a beautiful life together before I move on from this world then that would be so special and endearing that would give me lasting and beautiful memories of the love of my life as I live out the rest of my life on Mars. And though this seems like a very selfish act in most people eyes, that is the struggle most of us applicants face. I own the fact that between my girlfriend and I that this is selfish….but, this mission is more about humanity. Humanity’s mission in becoming a multi-planetary species. The day has come that the technology exists that we can leave the cradle of Earth. Earth is the cradle of humanity but one cannot live in the cradle forever. We must explore the frontiers of space. Our survival as a species depends upon it. So what has been seen as a “selfish” act between my girl friend and I, is actually a….. “selfless” act for humanity. And when people can begin to realize that, we can move on from our petty differences that we see that this project has manifest in many of us and support the people that will truly risks their precious lives for the benefit of others.


    • i think it’s great that you are so comfortable with your decision. I watched the video and am also impressed that your girlfriend, though sad, wants to hang around and share a life with you for as long as she can. A difficult choice, for sure, one that takes plenty of thought…. seems you’ve taken the first step….


  2. I did not make 1,058 cut “this time” but had discussed it with my wife 28 years ago before we were a couple, that given the opportunity I would apply and had her complete understanding and backing as well as that of my two boys and extended family. They would always be involved no matter where I am.


  3. No question. Married people would have to include family or file for divorce. No other options. Mars? No. Pioneers were mostly families or single men and there’s a reason why that was. It’s still true in this day.


  4. No question…family. It would be a shock if someone you are married to decided to go. I think children leaving on an adventure would be hard, but much easier than someone who had committed to spending their life with you.


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