Skip to main content

What would make you abandon Earth for Mars forever?

What would make you abandon Earth for Mars forever?

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Regardless of whether Mars One actually puts a team of astronauts on the Red Planet, over a thousand people are currently competing to be sent into space and never return. The short documentary "Mars One Way," made by Vita Bretis Films and Video West, will tell you why five of them want to make that trip, and what they're leaving behind: wives, boyfriends, children, and virtually every other known living thing in the universe.

Mars One has produced its own set of would-be astronaut profiles, called "One Way Astronaut." But while the trailer to that film focuses on the thrill of exploration, "Mars One Way" is about coming to terms with abandoning Earth forever, whether you're doing it out of a pioneer spirit or crippling depression. "Once you're gone, you are technically dead here on Earth," says one applicant. "And I'm okay with that."

If any of these people are chosen as finalists and the Mars One mission proceeds, they wouldn't leave until 2025 at the earliest. "I hope it's a success. I hope it's not basically suicide," another applicant says. "But if it is, i've got ten years to live it up here on Earth."