For many couples, long distance relationships are tough to make work.
Jason Stanford and his wife Sonia Van Meter are about to embark on the mother of all long distance relationships.
Van Meter was chosen to be part of a one-way mission to Mars.
— Olivia Dangler (@odangler) February 19, 2015
She will be departing on the Mars One Project, a privately-funded, one-way mission that hopes to establish a permanent human colony on the planet.
In a few short years, she will be saying goodbye to her husband and two stepsons.
The mission, which first departs in 2026, will take four people on the initial launch, and then four more every two years.
Stanford and his sons Henry and Hatcher support Van Meter’s decision to embark on this ambitious journey.
He talked to Texas Monthly:
“This was bigger than me.”
“It raises existential questions far weightier than how much I’d miss Sonia and whether I remembered who our plumber was or knew where she kept all the passwords.”
“If it succeeds in its mission – establishing a sustainable colony on another planet – it would change the history of humanity by expanding our boundaries beyond this planet.”
Betcha didn't know that a ticket to C2YN gets you the chance to compete against Sonia Van Meter! She is one of… http://t.co/yMlS43H2LG
— mab just mab (@mabjustmab) April 7, 2015
In fact, Stanford says one of the most difficult parts of the process is not dealing with her departure, but dealing with the overwhelming amount of criticism she has received for going:
She’s been asked how she could abandon me more times than most people have been asked if they want fries with that,” he said.
Despite the likelihood she will die on Mars, van Meter still seemed upbeat in an interview she conducted with The Nightly Show:
“We’re going out there with a plan.”
“The plan is not to go out there to die. It’s to live.”
Van Meter has received quite a lot of attention, as she is not an astronaut nor has she received relevant training.
— Astronomy On Tap (@astronomyontap) May 24, 2015
She was chosen from over 200,000 applicants.
It must be restated that this is a one-way trip and that Jason Stanford will never see his wife again, once she departs for Mars:
Stanford, however, seemed to accept that fact, even adding some humor:
“So it’s time to accept my role. Her name is Sonia Van Martian, and I’m the astronaut wife.”
“We’re just an ordinary married couple in an extraordinary situation, and we’re taking it one small step for man at a time.”
He just wants to enjoy the time they have left together, before that fateful day when a spaceship takes his wife away.
Check out Van Meter’s audition tape: