Girl On Mars Shradha Prasad
Kerala girl Shradha Prasad’s dream of settling down on Mars is inching towards reality, with the 19-year-old from Palakkad qualifying for the final round of selection for the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. Mars-One is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands. It aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by offering a one-way trip to those selected.
Her parents’ only child, this mechanical engineering student is also the lone candidate based in India to be selected by Netherland-based Mars-One for the fourth round of the astronaut selection process, the organization announced on Monday.
Shradha, a student of Coimbatore’s Amrita University said, “I am keen on settling down on Mars as I have a passion for space sciences and technology. This apart, I also enjoy taking risks and doing something adventurous. The one-way trip to Mars combines the two.”
Asked if she was confident of making it into the 24-member crew that will be selected to go to Mars, she replied: “After my success in the third round, my confidence has strengthened. I came to know on February 13 that I had passed. I was ecstatic. But we were not allowed to disclose it.
“It will be tough leaving my family, friends and all my near and dear ones. Yes, I agree it will not be that easy. But, let me not forget that it will be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Asked how her parents view the possibility of their only child permanently settling down on Mars, she said: “They think I am crazy. But, I am known for doing eccentric stuff. So, they are not surprised.”
Mars-One is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands. It aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by offering a one-way trip to those selected. The current plan envisages crews of four departing every two years beginning 2024. The first unmanned flight is slated for lift-off in 2018.According to Mars-One, 50 men and 50 women passed the second round. The candidates came from across the world — 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, seven from Africa and seven from Oceania.