UCF Students Finalists to Colonize and Spend Lives on Mars
BY JAKE RAKOCI

knightnews.com

FEBRUARY 25, 2015 AT 3:29 PM

Two UCF students are hoping to spend the rest of their lives on Mars.
George W. Hatcher and Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, both UCF doctoral students, have been selected by Mars One as finalists for a one-way mission to colonize Mars in 2024. More than 202,000 people applied to be colonists after the company issued a call for applications in 2013. Hatcher and Bhatia are among two of the 100 finals that were announced last week.
“I was speechless for about the first five minutes after reading the email,” Hatcher said in a release. “This has been a life goal of mine for as long as I can remember.”
Mars One, non-profit foundation found in the Netherlands, plans to send six, four-person missions staggered two years apart to Mars, totaling 24 colonists.
A mission to Mars would be incredibly expensive and difficult to organize, so returning the astronauts to Earth is something that Mars One is not going to try. For Hatcher, his passion for space exploration outweighs leaving behind his family to live on Mars.

“The one-way aspect of it is the cost of the ticket,” Hatcher said in a release. “I would definitely prefer to return to Earth, unquestionably. But I’m committed enough to human space exploration that I’m willing to live out the rest of my life there indefinitely.”
The remaining 100 candidates will be tested to see how they would survive the obstacle of colonizing another planet and working together as a team.
The final team of 24 Mars settlers will be announced from those tests.