Mars contestant: ‘Why wouldn’t you want to go?’

WASHINGTON — If you’re reading this on the East Coast, you’re likely buried under snow and shivering through the cold.

Reportedly, it’s warmer on the planet Mars right now.

How’s that for perspective?

Maybe that’s why Dr. Leila Rowland Zucker wants to go there. She’s one of six local hopefuls who want to live on the Red Planet. Zucker, a 46-year-old emergency room doctor at Howard University Hospital, says she’s always wanted to go to space.

“Why wouldn’t you want to go?” Zucker said Friday during an interview with WTOP. “It seems to me like the obvious next step for human exploration.”

More than 200,000 people have applied to be part of the Dutch nonprofit Mars One project, which will send residents to Mars to live forever.

The 100 applicants were chosen after interviews with Norbert Kraft, Mars One’s chief medical officer, based on the candidate’s devotion to the cause, and willingness to leave everything behind,  according to The Washington Post.

“They actually have a plan,” Zucker says of the Mars One plan. Those selected would enter full-time training for the next eight years. Among other things, the inhabitants would have to learn how to clean each other’s teeth.

“Waiting around until it’s absolutely safe to go is a recipe for disaster,” Zucker concludes. “We have the technology, we need to start now.”

Watch Zucker’s Mars One application video:


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