Husband Prepares for Wife's One-Way Trip to Mars

Jason Stanford's wife, Sonia Van Meter, was one of the people chosen for the Mars One Project. It is a privately-funded one-way mission that hopes to establish a permanent human colony on the planet. The first Mars One mission is set to launch in 2026, and Jason calls himself an "astronaut wife," as he prepares himself for future life without his 36-year-old wife and stepmother to his two sons. The Alexandria, Virginia couple support the mission. Standford wrote in a new feature for Texas Monthly "If it succeeds in its mission--establishing a sustainable colony on another planet--it would change the history of humanity by expanding our boundaries beyond this planet."

He also shares that she's been attacked for abandoning her family. Van Meter explained why she chose to stay with the mission despite the controversies and the fact that she isn't an astronaut. She says "The plan is not to go out there to die. It's to live." Van Meter was part of the top 100 selected from over 200,000 applications. Yet, former NASA scientist Dr. Joseph Roche, who dropped out of Mars One in March, said only 3,000 applied and those chosen had "bought" their win. Standford writes that his wife had not paid anything to be involved. Also, a 2013 study suggested that astronauts that go on Mars One will be exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation during the 253-day journey from Earth to Mars--this means it's likely many of them will contract cancer.

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