Belen man hoping to be selected for trip to Mars

Updated: 01/06/2014 10:47 PM | Created: 01/06/2014 10:40 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A space program will choose four people to live on Mars for the rest of their lives.

Thousands of applicants are taking their chances, and a New Mexico man has made the first cut.  

Mars One is a non-profit organization from the Netherlands.

Ken Johnston is willing to risk everything he knows.

"People say, 'Why would you go to die?' I'm not going to die. You die on Earth but would you want to do something fantastic for human kind perhaps to start another colony on another world another planet?" Johnston said.

The group has narrowed down the number of applicants to around a thousand people. Johnston, from Belen, is one of them.

Johnston says he has the credentials. He's a former U.S. Marine, a major with the Civil Air Patrol, and for the past 26 years he was a civilian astronaut consultant pilot.

"The Moon was never my goal as a kid. Going to the movies, I always wanted to go to Mars," Johnston said.

And, what does he wife think? She actually suggested it.

"She loves and cares for me so much that she wants me to follow my dreams," Johnston said.

Mars One plans on making their landing on Mars in 2024.

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