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Canadian candidates

Mars One staffers selected two semifinalists, who hope to take a one-way trip to Mars, from Canada—and more specifically, Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.). This military and aerospace (mil/aero) geek already discussed intriguing Fiction Author Marina Miral; now attentions turn to Alex Marion, a 26-year-old psychology graduate.

Alexander “A-Lex on Mars” Marion took a unique approach to grabbing the attention of the managers at Dutch non-profit Mars One and immediately set upon setting himself apart.

Marion, a self-proclaimed stargazer since the young age of five or six, seized the opportunity to join the Mars One project as soon as it was announced. He took to the Web, starting and mounting a social media campaign dedicated to making him one of the first inhabitants of the Mars One settlement. In fact, in one of his YouTube videos, A-Lex on Mars proclaimed, “I have applied to be one of the first people to set foot on the Red Planet. AND I’M NEVER COMING BACK!”

A.J. Parsons, Marina Miral, and Alex Marion still have a rigorous road ahead. Three more cuts to the Martian candidate pool are planned through the start of 2015, when the final 40 future astronauts and inhabitants of Mars will be selected. Those lucky folks will then spend the next seven years training to survive the less-than-hospitable Martian environment for the rest of their lives.

Mars One estimates that the first part of the venture will cost roughly $6 billion (U.S.), whereas each mission thereafter would set the non-profit back $4 billion. While many are excited about the project, it has drawn a fair share of skepticism. Buzz Aldrin is not convinced; he told HuffPost Live that he’s skeptical of any organization looking to explore Mars alone. Whether the ambitious project succeeds or fails remains to be seen, but this mil/aero geek applauds the vision, drive, and dedication.

Mentor, Mars One, Mentor Graphics, A.J. Parsons, Technology, Aerospace, A-Lex,, Geek, Mil-Aero, Marina Miral, Milaero, Alex Marion, Military, Buzz Aldrin

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