Mars on the horizon for one hopeful Kiwi


A Kiwi man is among 100 contestants shortlisted for a one-way trip to Mars.

Mars One is planning to send people four at a time to "colonise" the red planet, from 2026 onward.

For Saeed Ghandhari, who has made the shortlist, being selected as one of the astronauts would be a dream come true.

"Since I was a child, when people asked me 'what do you want to do when you grow up?' I always said 'I want to be an astronaut,'" Ghandhari told Story reporter Dale Owens.

Ghandari, who has two masters degrees and a bachelor in applied physics, says as a migrant from Iran to New Zealand, he is familiar with isolation and would be able to adapt to the new environment.

According to Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp, the mission will be financed by "creating the biggest media event ever". In other words, the whole thing will be filmed and turned into a reality TV show.

That approach has attracted some criticism, and lead to the project being labelled by some as a publicity-seeking scam.

Despite that, the mission attracted 205,000 applicants worldwide.

Ghandhari says he's doing daily exercises at the gym to help increase his chances of being selected as part of the final team.

The decision hasn't been taken lightly. Ghandhari says he would miss his family the most.

"Family is the biggest thing anyone has. How can I not miss them if I want to go on a one-way trip and never return?"

Watch the video for the full Story report.