‘Til Mars do us part! Bride-to-be says she will leave her fiance on Earth if she’s selected to live on the red planet FOREVER as part of a reality TV show
- Kellie Gerardi applied to be one of the people the Mars One project sends to the Red Planet
- The same day she learned she made it to the next round in the competition, Gerardi’s boyfriend proposed to her
- If selected, Gerardi would begin training next year for the planned 2024 one-way trip to Mars
- She is unlikely to ever return… putting considerable strain on her marriage
- 24 explorers will make up six teams of colonists the project hopes to sent to Mars
PUBLISHED: 12:36 EST, 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:58 EST, 26 February 2014
If you thought your long-distance relationship was tough, consider this: At least you’re both on the same planet.
On the same day a Brooklyn woman’s boyfriend proposed to her, she learned that she has made it to the next round of the selection process to be one of several people a Dutch non-profit hopes to send to Mars to colonize the planet – forever. The training and potential mission also will be turned into a reality TV show.
And if 25-year-old Kellie Gerardi is selected, she plans to go – even if that means leaving her soon-to-be-husband back on Earth. And it is unlikely to ever return, so it is almost certain to spell the end of her marriage.
‘We’ve been joking that our vows are going to be ‘’til Mars do us part,’” Gerardi, a Columbia University graduate who works as a media strategist in the commercial space industry, told DNAinfo. ‘I’m lucky to have someone in my life who is so supportive of me and understands the value I have on space exploration and being a part of interplanetary travel.’
Gerardi is one of 1,058 applicants who was selected to move on to the second round of the Mars One competition, which will eventually be narrowed down to 24 space explorers who will make up the six crews that will begin training in 2015 for a possible trip to the Red Planet in 2024.
Part of the training regiment includes being dropped off in some of the most extreme weather locations on Earth to prepare for the ‘Tundra-like’ landscape on Mars.
‘I’ve always been fascinated with space, from reading science fiction to seeing rockets launch from the coast of Florida,’ she told the website.
In addition to her aspirations to walk on Mars, Gerardi is getting plenty of adventure here on Earth – she’s spent time exploring the seclusive nation of North Korea and spent several weeks studying the extended necks of the women of the Kayan tribe in Myanmar. She’s also a member of the legendary Explorers Club, a non-profit organization that devotes resources to studying the previously unknown.
‘We have a whole range of space enthusiasts,’ she said of the club, which includes famous interplanetary members like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Gerardi says she realizes that if her dreams of going to Mars are realized, there’s a chance that she would have to forgo a future with her fiance, a 36-year-old who works in finance whom Gerardi asked to not identify by name for professional reasons.
‘I don’t think one-way trips are unprecedented throughout history,’ she said. ‘Explorers have always operated under the assumption that this wasn’t going to be a two-way trip.’
If she is selected, Gerardi will have 10 years to spend with her husband before blasting off to another world, and she is doing her best to get him interested in space exploration, like taking him on a zero-gravity flight to understand what it feels like to be floating in space.
‘I’m completely in love with him,’ she said of her future groom. ‘I’m thrilled to get married to him and have him as my husband, and I’m grateful to have someone so supportive in my life.’