Do you have a yen to travel — far? Are you curious? Adaptable? Resourceful? Creative? Able to leave everything behind? Do you ever look up into the night sky and say to yourself that you'd like to go there to live?
It's not NASA calling. It's Mars One. And it's looking for people 18 and over who speak English and can commit to starting a human colony on Mars. Yes, they mean the planet Mars that is a dot high in the sky. Rovers with supplies will start going to Mars in 2016 while the successful four applicants prepare full time for launch in 2022. After that, a new team will be sent every two years to join the colony.
Two entrepreneurs, Bas Lansdorp and Arno A. Wielders, are putting this together with many international scientists acting as advisers. There may eventually be some competition from Elon Musk of Space X who also wants to establish a colony on Mars. Sources of funding are many. One source of funding is the revenue from media coverage that will send us reality TV of the first Earthlings on Mars.
After all the damage we've done to Earth, it takes a large supply of hubris to think a fresh start on a neighboring planet will work out well. Maybe it's just a farther away variation of the human need to keep climbing the next mountain. New frontiers have always appealed to adventurers.
Since I'm already a senior, I doubt I'll ever know whether or not we truly do establish a viable colony on Mars. However, on a far less grand scale, I will have something in common with the early colonists. I, too, changed my life totally when I was 40. I said goodbye to all that was familiar and set out with a pack on my back to explore faraway nooks and crannies of the world, to tackle challenges I had never faced before, to meet new people of many cultures, and to be at home far away from home.