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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Singaporean one step closer to Mars stay

A Singaporean man has taken another step towards his dream of moving to Mars.

He is one of just 705 people worldwide selected for an interview with organisers of a multi-billion-dollar private effort to colonise the red planet.

This means that 54-year-old electrical engineer Robinson Law (pic) now has a one-in-176 chance – much better odds than striking 4-D – of making the first team of four settlers meant to fly to Mars in 2024.

He will be interviewed by Dutch non-profit foundation Mars One, which says it expects candidates to show their “knowledge, intelligence, adaptability and personality”.

The interviews and life stories of each of the aspiring cosmonauts will be televised, said a Mars One spokesman.

The candidates who progress will be grouped into several teams comprising two men and two women. They will then train full-time in remote outposts on earth as preparation.

Over 200,000 people applied last year for a chance to join the unlikely venture, which has drawn scepticism from scientists and former astronauts. No human has ever landed on Mars.

Law, a widower who skis, dives, runs marathons, does bungee jumps and rides a unicycle, made the latest cut last week.

Law said that he is ready to “leave everything behind” to contribute to mankind on Mars, as his children would be grown up by 2024.

He works for local start-up Avago Technologies and lives in a Sembawang HDB flat with his two sons, 24 and 21, and a daughter, 16. His wife died in 2011.

Elder son Yi Zhuan, a National University of Singapore undergraduate, said that his father’s audacity runs in the family.

“All of us have this ‘you only live once’ mentality... Happiness and freedom are the most important things,” he said.

“It would be something great to do for mankind.” ­­— The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Tags / Keywords: world


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