Michigan native may head to Mars

Posted at 11:18 PM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-21 14:09:51-05

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- Laura Smith-Velazquez, from Dorr, says she would like to call the
Planet Mars her home and it could happen. She entered a contest to
travel to outerspace and start a colony. She is now one of 100 on the
list.  Smith-Velazquez says her husband spotted the ad first on Mars One,
it's a non-profit organization planning to start a settlement on Mars

Laura Smith-Velazquez says," he emailed me,  you got to check out this
website ... he was like, you want to go to Mars and I said oh my god yes".

More than 200-thousand people registered to go, the applicants were
weeded down to 100 and Smith-Velazquez made the cut. '"Actually really
excited, it was a bit unreal when there was 200-thousand candidates,
but when there is only a 100 candidates it starts getting real".

Real alright, like a reality show. In the next stage, Laura says the
applicants will be put in a Mars like environment. "They are going to put us in a mock up of Mars habitat and we will have to do challenges, they have not said what those challenges are
but they will weed out people who do not work well in groups, people
who are not leaders, people who can not work together", says

Smith-Velazquez does not know when it will start, but she says
sometime this year. Her husband will not be with her. She says he did
not make the cut, but he may have a second chance if someone drops out. She says leaving without her husband is a tough
decision, but one she is willing to make to have her dream of space
travel come true. Smith-Velazquez says, "and then there is also that
amazing fact that what you do now is a pioneer and can contribute so
much to  everyone  else around you -- so it is almost like leaving a legacy
on top of that .. but yet starting a whole new life."

Mars One says it will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.
Crews of four will depart every two years, starting in 2024.