The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

AGer­man-born Aus­tralian, short­listed for a pro­posed set­tle­ment mission to Mars, says the project could be an im­por­tant step in the his­tory of hu­mankind.

Gun­nar Prehl, a 41-year-old cook from Cairns, was in­cluded in the list of 100 can­di­dates for the project by the Dutch non­profit com­pany Mars One.

Five other Aus­tralians also made the list.

They were among 200,000 ap­pli­cants aim­ing to be among the 24-40 peo­ple sent to live on the Red Planet in 10 years’ time.

“It could be the big­gest adventure hu­mans have ever done; it could be the most inspiring thing I can imag­ine,” Prehl says. “It’s ex­cit­ing to leave all the mis­takes we’ve done on Earth, leave them on Earth and bring all the good ideas to Mars.”

Prehl says his par­ents in Ger­many are not too pleased about his par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“I’m re­ally very aware of what I would leave be­hind and the most im­por­tant thing is my girl­friend ... it would break my heart to leave her,” he says. “But Mars One could be a re­ally, re­ally im­por­tant step in the his­tory of hu­mankind.”

The mission is merely a pro­posal as a suit­able space­ship has yet to be de­signed.

Global aerospace com­pany Lock­heed Martin, the big­gest US gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor, is listed as an in­ter­ested party on Mars One’s web­site.

An of­fi­cial for Lock­heed Martin says they have un­der­taken pre­lim­i­nary con­sul­ta­tions with Mars One but only to de­velop a con­cept for an un­manned mission.

“Mars One con­tracted with Lock­heed Martin to de­velop a mission con­cept study for their un­crewed 2018 Mars lan­der space­craft,” the Lock­heed Martin of­fi­cial writes.

“The lan­der con­cept is based on a flight-proven, af­ford­able space­craft de­sign we cre­ated for the suc­cess­ful NASA Phoenix Mars Lan­der mission.

“We have not been asked to study any more of the Mars One ar­chi­tec­ture be­yond the 2018 lan­der.”

Gun­nar Prehl is eye­ing a one-way trip to Mars.

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