A Michigan native is vying for a one-way ticket to a very unusual destination.
Laura Smith-Velazquez is one of 100 finalists from across the globe trying to be a part of a mission to begin colonizing Mars.
Mars One, a Dutch-based non-profit, intends to choose 24 people to make up six crews of four, which would begin blasting off to the Red Planet every two years beginning in 2024. It's a one-way trip.
Smith-Velazquez, now based in Maryland, works as a scientist at a flight deck research lab, and holds degrees in aeronautical science and human factors and systems from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
"It's one of those things," Smith-Velazquez said. "It's a love of adventure, this dream and the hope to contribute to something amazing."
Smith-Velazquez says an important part of making it onto the mission is personality -- candidates have to be outgoing and charismatic to make it on Mars.
A one-way ticket to Mars is a serious matter, seeing as no humans have ever set foot on the planet, and some spacecraft sent to the planet were lost.
The Pilgrims didn't necessarily understand what they were getting themselves into, either, Smith-Velazquez rationalized.
You can read more about the mission and about Laura Smith-Velazquez here.
-Paige Pfleger, Michigan Radio Newsroom