Three Keralites Join Bandwagon for Mission Mars
By Nidheesh M K | Published: 10th May 2014 07:55 AM |
Call it a weird adventure. In a couple of years, three young Keralites may fly to Mars without a return ticket, if they are lucky.
The three who might spend the rest of their lives in the red planet are Shradha Prasad, a school student from Palakkad, Lekha Menon, a microbiology researcher from Palakkad, and Rakesh, a technology consultant from Thiruvananthapuram.
They are shortlisted to the last round for a one-way trip to the red planet, along with 41 other Indians, from some two million aspirants globally, to take part in a ‘once in many lifetime opportunity’ organised by a Netherlands-based non-profit organisation. The project ‘Mars One’ is supposed to take off in 2024 with a mission to colonise Mars.
While the 18-year-old hardcore space-research lover Shradha came to know about ‘Mars One’ through newspapers, Lekha Menon, who just received her PhD in Marine biotechnology from UCC, Ireland, came to know about it from Facebook. Rakesh was unavailable for comments.
“I applied on their website and got selected in the preliminary round. Then I cleared a second round related to medical check ups. There is one more round of personal interviews and then we would undergo training to live in Mars,” said Shradha.
Lekha view it as a continuation of her research and Shradha like it “because it’s so-so for like me.” The candidates said that they did not give much thought about how their families will react while applying, and are facing the heat now.
“When I told them about the selection, my father concluded that I had gone out of my mind. But I am known for doing eccentric stuffs at home. So they were not much surprised and I am still trying to convince them the importance of this mission,” said Shradha.
But Lekha, despite the worries of possibly leaving her husband, still maintains a cool head. “My husband is quite excited, he’s actually encouraging,” laughs Lekha.
The candidates seemed to be not scared at all. Ask about meeting aliens, and Lekha replies that it would be an interesting experience. “They might be friendly as well, who knows,” she said.
While Shradha said they will miss their family and friends, Lekha adds more to that list- Kutley and Idley, her cats. And perhaps more. “I will miss spicy food. Some say they will give us only capsules to eat,” she said.