It was both astounding and fascinating to hear about the Mars One project – 24 people going on a one-way trip to the red planet never to return to Earth.
How does it feel? Is it equivalent to committing suicide? How do family and friends react? We asked these questions from the only Pakistani candidate to have made it to the shortlisted top 100 candidates for the project.
“My motivation is to do something extraordinary and die with a name and a legacy left behind for thousands of years to come,” says Pakistani-Canadian Reginald George Foulds who believes that Mars One is a great opportunity for him to fulfill his dreams and to do something “out of this world”.
“[I want to leave] a legacy behind like many other great people who took expeditions to the unknown territories. For me, it will be to another galaxy,” says Foulds, who has served in the Pakistani military for more than 20 years. “Being a pilot for many years, it was always my desire to be an astronaut.”
People may find this hard to believe but Foulds’ family has been very supportive of him regarding this project. “Everyone is as excited and thrilled as myself for my being amongst the top 100 candidates from an initial list of more than two hundred thousand,” says Foulds, who has two children – a son and a daughter.
Several people have termed this mission a suicide, but Foulds has a different point of view.
“I don’t have any fears whatsoever, death only comes once and is inevitable. Each one has to die one day, according to the will of God; be it in our beds, on the road or on another planet.”
Foulds has complete faith in this project. When asked about the research which said that the candidates will not be able to survive for more than 68 days on the planet, Foulds said: “Well, all researchers have their own research criteria and findings. Mars One is a wonderful project; they have a great vision and are working towards a flawless mission that will be safe in every way for humans to land and live on Mars.”
Being a dual citizen, Foulds plans to represent both Pakistan and Canada on this mission.
“I am a proud and patriotic Pakistani; Pakistan has given me all I needed to be a confident and good human being. I shall never let those values go at any cost. At the same time, Canada has given me and my family another home and the opportunities to further grow. I along with my family equally owe our allegiance to Canada.
“In this mission in fact I will be representing the whole world.”