Shepparton-born actor and model Korum Ellis makes short list for Mars settlement project.ALEXANDRA BOLKAS January 21, 2014 4:56am
Living more than 150 days from Earth in a cramped habitat and under threat of death from a toxic atmosphere isn’t everyone’s idea of paradise.
But for Shepparton-born actor and model Korum Ellis it would realise a lifelong dream.
His interest in Mars began in high school when a teenage Mr Ellis became hooked on fictional novels about the planet.
‘‘It became a hobby studying planets and the solar system and led to my interest in the expansion of space travel,’’ Perth-based Mr Ellis, 30, said.
‘‘As new technology has made the possibility of an adventure to another planet more likely in my lifetime my interest has deepened.’’
His passion for space led him to apply and get short-listed for the Mars One project Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp spearheads.
The project aims to establish a human colony on Mars by 2024.
Out of 200
‘‘It’s a little bit flattering, a lot of brilliant people have applied and I’m appreciative of the selection so far,’’ he said.
‘‘I was hoping I was a pretty good candidate and wasn’t really surprised — I’m a good age, with a keen interest in the subject and terrestrial endeavours.’’
Mr Ellis said his interest in sustainable micro-farming might also have worked in his favour.
He said he expected his time on Mars to be difficult.
‘‘There won’t be much glory — the living conditions will be cramped and we’ll have to exit habitats in well protected suits,’’ Mr Ellis said. ‘‘One per cent exposure to the atmosphere will result in instant death and we’ll be under threat from constant radiation.’’
He said creating food and oxygen from his surrounds would be hard work, but the sacrifices made would be worth it.
‘‘The chance to be the first human on another planet is so mind-blowingly overwhelming, I’m happy to make sacrifices of living in an awkward environment,’’ Mr Ellis said.
The pioneer potential means Mr Ellis has no second thoughts about leaving friends and work behind.
‘‘My family has been mostly supportive — a couple think I’m crazy, but people are warming up to the idea,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think people realise how realistic the endeavour is.’’
He said Mars’ atmosphere was not human-friendly and the risk of death scared him.
‘‘I’d be concerned if someone I was flying with had no fears. It will be tough psychologically and a lot of things in space are trying to kill us,’’ Mr Ellis said.
‘‘But I have faith in the contributors.’’
To get through the next rounds, Mr Ellis must pass a medical examination, pass a psychological questionnaire and submit a video.
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More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca United and Moama will play for the 3Jacks trophy at Echuca South Oval today.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
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Heathcote's Union Hotel is continuing its record of fundraising for the Royal Children's Hospital.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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