A 28-year-old Filipina CEO may be one of those to be chosen to be a part of a crew that will stablish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2026.

Jaymee del Rosario, Filipina Mars astronaut candidate (Photo from Kamuning Bakery Cafe)

Jaymee del Rosario is the CEO of a metal company in the United States, born in Quezon City, del Rosario said she is excited to have the chance to go to Mars, calling it a “dream come true.”

“The prospect was scary, but exciting, even for someone who did not grow up watching science fiction,” she said during a forum in Kamuning, Quezon City. She’s here in the country to visit her sick father.

“This experience of being able to be a part of a great opportunity of space exploring, it makes me very happy,”she added.

Del Rosario is one of the two Filipinos who makes it in the shortlist of 202,586 applicants who volunteered to join the ‘Mars One’ project.

“I was really excited and really nervous. I was panicking that I’m not going to make it. I’m competing with doctors, lawyers, military, and judge,” she said.

“They can’t assure you it’s safe, that ‘Oh, you’re going to be in a 101 percent safe rocket.’ Nobody can say that. That’s because it’s a very hard job,” Del Rosario said.

“Mars One didn’t tell you, you’re not going to die. It’s, do you want to go?”

According to Joseph Roche, one of those shortlisted, a 2014 report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggest that Mars One mission was bound to fail based on the formula required for the voyage. Humans in the Mars One mission can only survive for 68 days.

Human colony on Mars -Concept.

“The first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission,” according to the report which studied the formulas on oxygen, food and technology required for the project, AFP reported.

The report said that there was still no technology to allow permanent settlement on mars, oxygen levels would start to deplete after two months.

When asked about the prospect of death, Del Rosario said it would be an honorable way to sacrifice a life if only to fulfill the ultimate voyage to space.

“Everybody has that fear … We’re all scared of death. But to me, it’s not suicidal. At least this is what you want to do, this is your dream. If you’re going to exit that way, it’s very fulfilling, because it’s your dream, it’s for humanity,” Del Rosario said.

According to the Mars One website the most complex, expensive, and risky part of a mission to Mars is the return trip. It requires developing bigger rockets that need a larger landing system and launch capability on Mars.

A permanent settlement is not easy but it is far less complex and requires much less infrastructure sent to Mars than return missions, the website said.

-John Esconde