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These People Have Volunteered to Live and Die on Mars

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These People Have Volunteered to Live and Die on Mars

They are on the short list of finalists for the Mars One project.

posted on Feb. 10, 2015, at 10:18 p.m.

Ali Velez BuzzFeed Staff Writer

In 2012, Mars One announced plans to colonize Mars. This mini-doc from The Guardian and Stateless Media takes a very personal look at three individuals willing to give up everything to explore life, and ultimately death, on Mars.

Over 200,000 people applied for a seat on the four-person spaceship set to travel to Mars in 2024. There are currently 660 finalists. The mission is a one-way trip, and those who are selected to go will never return to Earth. Meet three of the finalists hoping to make the historic journey, and hear their fascinating stories and very personal reasons for wanting to be a part of this epic adventure.

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Ryan, a physics student from the UK
“I think the most important thing to do in life is to leave a legacy. A lot of people do that by, say, having a child or having a family. For me, this would be my legacy. To try and find if there’s life on Mars, to inspire a new generation, to lead to the beginnings of the first civilization on another planet. That is my legacy.”


Dina, an Iraqi-American computer science graduate
“If I ever made it to Mars, it’s gonna be the same experience as me coming to the United States. Going back is not an option, never. I don’t feel like I need a family to be able to survive and exist.”


Jeremias, a young doctor from Mozambique
“I think this world is not a good place to live anymore. We have so many disease, we have so many army conflicts, we have natural disasters, we have inequities. We have so many problems that I believe it is not possible to solve. I would like to see a better world comparing to this one and I think a good way to solve those problems is to start from the beginning.” [...]


Excerpt from the text available at . Accessed on January 13, 2016.

a What social structure do Ryan and Dina choose to let go? Why?

Both Ryan and Dina place their plans and will over family. For Ryan, family is not the most important thing in life, and his motivations are grounded on his desire to leave a legacy. As for Dina, she sees herself as someone who does not need a family to survive. She relies on her past – somehow similar, according to her – experience of moving to the U.S. without family and without the possibility of going back to her origin country.

b Would family be a decisive issue for you to apply for Mars One?

Respostas pessoais.

c What is Jeremias’ explanation for being willing to go to Mars?

Jeremias sees his voyage to Mars as a possibility to start a new and better world, leaving behind disease, army conflicts, natural disasters and inequities.

d Do you agree with the views of these candidates? Why?

Respostas pessoais. Professor/a, recomenda-se monitorar a atividade, orientando os/as estudantes a respeitar as opiniões e vontades dos/as demais.

e Would you apply to a project such as Mars One? Why? If you chose to go, what would you miss from Earth?

Respostas pessoais.

15 Read this news headline and the excerpt. Then answer the questions.


“[…] Getting a straight answer from Bas Lansdorp is at times like interviewing a Martian – you wonder what planet he’s from and whether he’s understood what you’ve asked him. Considering Mars One intends to land humans on Mars in nine years, there seems to be a startling lack of urgency or a clear plan from the co-founder and CEO when questioned.
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While the company still lacks any signs of development, he remains adamant that they will be landing humans on Mars – and we’ll all tune in to watch highlights of their lives until they die.

On whether sending people to die on Mars and watching it from Earth was morbid, if not slightly voyeuristic, Lansdorp replied that everybody’s life on Earth ultimately ended.

‘We wouldn’t watch that live on TV of course,’ he told MailOnline in an exclusive interview. ‘It’s not going to be Big Brother on Mars – it’s going to be the most exciting story of all time.’

‘Just like the Olympics, we watch highlights, we don’t watch things that athletes do when they’re not performing their abilities.’

And Lansdorp is quick to dispel any concerns that Mars inhabitants will die young.

In fact, he believes people will not only live into old age, but their average age at death will probably be higher on Mars.

‘We are not sending average people to Mars, they will be very healthy,’ he said.

‘They already have a lower likelihood of disease, will eat healthy food and can’t be hit by a car.

‘So unless some tragic accident happens on Mars, which would reduce life expectancy, they’ll probably be older than average humans on Earth.


He brushed off theories that the whole thing was a scam that would end up being like The Truman Show – with the crew being tricked into thinking they had gone to Mars, when actually they were on a TV set on Earth.

‘We’re sending the best smart people to Mars, they’re not going to believe they’re on Mars if they’re in Earth gravity,’ he said.

‘You can’t make smart people believe they’re on Mars, and beyond that, I would not be so interested about organising a fake manned mission.’


Available at . Accessed on January 13, 2016. Suppressions for pedagogical purposes (omission of excerpts with inadequate language level or advertising) marked with […].

a What is meant by stating that the mission on Mars will not be like the TV shows?

The reference to the TV show Big Brother and the movie The Truman Show help build the argument that Mars One is not going to be a fake, manipulated mission nor something dull; instead, it will be “the most exciting story of all time.”

b What does the news article say about dying on Mars?

The article mentions Lansdorp’s argument which favors the view that people on Mars will not die young; rather, they are expected to grow older than average humans on Earth, having a longer life expectancy.

c Do you think Mars One is a deadly mission?

Respostas pessoais.

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