An Edmonton woman is one step closer to seeing her dream of traveling to space come true.
Christy Foley, 32, received the call last week that she was one out of 1,058 applicants who had been shortlisted for the Mars One mission — a project to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.
“I’ve always loved space and the idea of colonizing and expanding,” said Foley, who works for the Alberta government. “I grew up on Star Trek Next Generation, which makes me a bit of a nerd.”
A self-proclaimed avid stargazer, Foley and her husband both applied for Mars One, along with more than 200,000 other people from around the world, when the Mars One Astronaut Selection Program was first launched last year.
While Foley was shortlisted, her husband was not.
“It was definitely disappointing,” Foley admitted. “He was ecstatic that I was picked and I love him for it.”
Foley said her husband plans on continuing to apply for future applications for the mission.
“I think what I will miss the most is the ability to go out in nature,” Foley said about the possibility of a one-way ticket to Mars. “We will be surrounded by machines forever. Though, part of the plan is to develop our own farms and orchards, so I hopefully won’t have to miss the feel of nature for long.”
Foley said thanks to volunteer work with the Girl Guides of Canada, she has a great sense of leadership and extensive experience with first aid.
Moving forward with her application, Foley will have to complete a medical examination and have a “job interview” as part of the four round selection process.
Foley expects the process to be complete by 2016, with training kicking off for the selected few in 2017 and a departure date set for 2024.
“It’s definitely not going to happen tomorrow,” she laughed. “I will get to enjoy some time with my family while I am here.”