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Coventry woman pulls out of one-way trip to Mars

A coventry woman has abandoned her dream of travelling to Mars Photo: BPM Media

Many people have applied for Mars One’s mission, yet a Coventry woman has abandoned her dream of travelling to the planet and becoming the mother of the first Martian baby.

Maggie Lieu, 24, from Tile Hill, Coventry, had made the final 100 shortlist of applicants from over 200,000 initial applicants to make the 140 million mile one-way trip to the Red Planet as part of a project known as Mars One.

She was being tested, along with other successful applicants, to see how they would cope in the harsh environment of Mars, before a final 40 are chosen to make the six billion dollar journey.

The Birmingham University astrophysics student announced her withdrawal from the mission via Twitter.

Groups of four are scheduled to leave every two years from 2024 and the former Tile Hill Wood pupil previously said she was excited by the prospect of the ten-year training programme.

The group would be forced to learn skills ranging from medicine and agriculture to plumbing and electronics as they looked to make the planet their permanent home.

On Mars, challenges to contend with include temperatures as low as -62 degrees Celcius, lethal levels of radiation and the dangers of suffocation, starvation and dehydration.

Nasa undated computer generated image of what the it's Spirit rover would look like on the surface of Mars. Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mars One judges applicants on how similar their characteristics are to that of astronaut. The candidate has to submit an online application and is then assessed on their ability to be:

  • Resilient
  • Adaptable
  • Curious
  • Trustworthy
  • Creative
  • Resourceful
  • Above the age of 18
  • A2 English Level
  • Physical requirements

Only back in February, Maggie seemed to relish the prospect of being part of one of the biggest milestones in human history.

She said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s so crazy because I’ve had so many messages on Facebook from old friends saying ‘you’re actually following your dream’.

“You can do anything if you want it enough.”

“No one’s ever done this before and the whole world will have their eyes glued on the TV like Neil Armstrong when he stepped on the Moon.

“It will be inspiring generations to come and push future technologies.

“We need to grow our own food up there and be great at recycling, so that will inspire a lot of technologies in the future. It will also inspire the next generation of scientists.”

Mars One is not risk free. Here are a number of elements that could pose a problem:

  • An essential component of the settlement could be affected
  • There is a chance that an astronaut might not survive if his or her Mars Suit were to become seriously damaged during a mission outside of the habitat
  • Certain medical conditions are not treatable on Mars -

She added: “There are a lot of things you take for granted like breathing the air or going for a swim or a jog whereas on Mars you will be suited up all the time.

“I think it will be really weird not to have access to make up or shopping and normal things.”

Facts about Planet Mars:

  • Mars air is about 1% the density of that on Earth and is composed of 95% Carbon Dioxide
  • average temperature is about 210 Kelvin, or about minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mars has two tiny potato-shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos
  • A 'day' on Mars is longer than a day on Earth.
  • The Martian year is also longer than that of the Earth because it takes Mars longer to orbit the sun.

Despite Mars One being in the early phases, their goal is to establish a permanent home for humans on the distant planet.