Mars One wants to send two dozen people to Mars, and Peter Felgentreff, 50, may well be one of them.
For as long as he can remember, he's been "curious" about science, he gushes.
His curiosity about what it would be like to live on Mars motivated him to compete for a seat aboard one of the spaceships Mars One plan to fire off, with four aboard, every other year, until the non-profit organization reaches its goal of sending 24 Earthlings to the Red Planet.
His wife thinks Felgentreff may have another motive besides curiosity. "I'm curious about science, too," she whined, "but you don't see me traipsing off to Mars."
Her husband, she says, is, at 50, experiencing "a mid-life crisis." Some men at this time of their lives chase women and have extramarital affairs, she added, but Felgentreff prefers to chase his dream of "colonizing another planet," which explains, she thinks, why he's become a "wannabe Martian."
"No," Felgentreff insisted. "I'm just curios."
"Curiosity killed the cat," his wife reminded him.
"Yeah, but satisfaction brought him back."
However, Mars One has been careful to explain to those who wish to make the journey, that "it's a one-way trip."
Those who go aren't coming back. Ever.
Unwilling to live and die on Mars, Mrs. Felgentreff says, "If he goes, he's leaving me behind."
"That's another reason I'm going," Felgentreff quipped.
Felgentreff is the vice-president of a start-up group in San Francisco. Stockholders, he admitted, are concerned about his relocating to Mars, and, even though the first flight won't happen until 2024, company stocks have already plummeted.
However, Felgentreff believes they'll rise again. "What goes up must come down again, after all," he observed, "except in my case, of course."
Mars One has narrowed the field of "wannabe Martians" from 100 to 24, and is no longer searching for "astronuts" (men and women whose desire to return to the stars from whence humanity came is strong enough to warrant its being called a "death wish--who else would trust their fate to a Dutch organization--and a non-profit one, at that?) Indeed, many of Mars One's astronuts have expressed suicidal thoughts.
The travelers will depart, beginning in 2024, four by four, with a craft leaving every two years, so that, in the year 2036, all 24 will be on Mars.
"I hope those who come later won't discover, upon their arrival, that their predecessors are dead," Felgentreff pouted, "especially if I'm one of the early birds."
MIT Ph.D candidate Syd Do, says that such a scenario is "not only likely, but probable, since, currently, no technology is available that can sustain life on Mars."
However, Felgentreff says he is not concerned by Do's "prophecy of doom and gloom." "Do is just a wet blanket," Felgentreff charged, "out to destroy our fun."
Unfortunately, at this time, Prezident Obummer has announced that he is not curious enough to hitch a ride on a Mars One craft. After all, he has suspended most of NASA's space missions, and his bitter half, First Lady Michelle, said Obummer is not curious enough to risk his life to a Dutch organization--and a non-profit one, at that.
For his part, though, Felgentreff remains hopeful that the prezident will change his mind and join the Mars One party.
"With Prezident Obummer," he said, "things do get curioser and curioser all the time, after all."