HALIFAX- Most of us call it Mars. Some of us will refer to it as the ‘Red Planet’. But one day, Tyler Reyno, 20, of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia plans to call the fourth planet from the Sun his home.
“It’ll be the first human civilization. It’s not only a visit to Mars, we’re basically establishing a permanent residency on Mars for further people to travel on Mars and live there,” he says.
Reyno is in the running for a global competition, put on by Dutch entrepreneurs called Mars-One. Their plan is to colonize Mars within the next decade. There is a significant catch, however. The four earthlings selected by the company to go to Mars as astronauts will never come back.
“I think that it would be a pretty awesome accomplishment to become one of the first people to die on another planet,” says Reyno. “We’re all going to go down, I think that it would be rather significant to do it on another planet.”
Reyno has fashioned a mock astronaut’s helmet from paper mache. He’s been wearing it around Dalhousie’s campus in order to spark conversation and, in turn, support, for his bid to win the one-way ticket to Mars. But it’s not all fun and games. Reyno has made some serious life choices to improve his chances in the competition. He’s being tutored in Russian, is taking flight lessons through the summer and plans to pursue a Masters degree in aerospace engineering.
He’s also taken to the web, creating Youtube videos explaining his desire to “Send a Nova Scotian to space”.
The competition closes its call for entrants in August. It will be sometime in 2014 before Reyno learns if he’s a finalist.