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Space and Physics

British Student No Longer Wants to Travel to Mars

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Morenike Adebayo

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clockJun 25 2015, 16:03 UTC
746 British Student No Longer Wants to Travel to Mars
Mars One Project/YouTube

British student Maggie Lieu, who said that she wanted to be the first to give birth on Mars, has stepped down from the race to Mars on the Mars One mission...if it's really happening, that is.

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Allegedly arriving in 2026, manned missions from Earth hope to establish a colony of people on the Red Planet – and it’s a one-way ticket only.

However, the legitimacy of Mars One has been called into question ever since the mission was announced. For instance, there have been financial concerns from Nobel Laureate and Mars One ambassador Gerard 't Hooft: "It will take quite a bit longer and be quite a bit more expensive. When they first asked me to be involved, I told them 'you have to put a zero after everything.'"

And as former NASA researcher Joseph Roche explained to Medium: "When you join the ‘Mars One Community,’ which happens automatically if you applied as a candidate, they start giving you points. You get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them."

Currently studying at the University of Birmingham, England, Lieu made her announcement via Twitter. Although she felt “truly honoured” to have been chosen for the supposed intergalactic mission to Mars, she has “a big paper publishing soon” and has nobly chosen to spend her time more productively finishing her PhD studies instead.

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The astrophysics postgraduate was purported to have been chosen from over 200,000 applicants, which may have actually only been a measly 2,761 applicants. All hoping to participate in the $5.5 billion (£3.5 billion) mission, Lieu was on the shortlist of 100 potential rocketeers, which will eventually be honed down to 40 people on the mission to Mars.

But fear not, British space enthusiasts! There are still four Brits in the running for the Mars mission. Hannah Earnshaw, Ryan MacDonald, Alison Rigby and Clare Weedon could be among the lucky few leaving Earth every two years to make the Red Planet their new forever home, if it all doesn't turn out to be just one massive PR stunt.


Space and Physics
  • Mars,

  • Mars one,

  • human settlement,

  • colonization,

  • mission to mars

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