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ROBIN AND THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

| SCIENCE NEWS

Robin Ingebretsen (20) is 1 of the final 100 in the race for a one-way ticket to Mars and the only Norwegian left in the competition.

A DEDICATED CANTIDATE
I had a sit-down with Robin and we talked about his upcoming year. Right now he is at county college and thinking about the future. He wants to take a major in either psychology or engineering. Both quite useful on Earth AND on Mars. September 2016 he will find out if he qualifies to be one of the 24 candidates that will be selected and offered full-time employment with Mars One. And the possibility to go to Mars of course.

Cutting Edge Cred Ørjan kvalheim 27
Robin at the Mars One stand with Bas Lansdorp @Cutting Edge 2015 (Photo: Ørjan Kvalheim)

He will have to pass Round Three and Four of Mars One’s astronaut selection process. Round Three consists of forming groups where the Mars100 will be downselected to only 40 candidates that will enter the next selection phase: isolation. After the candidates spend nine days in an isolation unit, 30 candidates are chosen to partake in an interview. The interview measures suitability for long duration Space missions and Mars settlement. And those 24 who pass will have the biggest chance of going to Mars.

STRESS AND ISOLATION
No matter the outcome of Round Three and Four, Robin says he is looking forward to the training and is excited to test his abilities and performance under stressful and unique working conditions. He is especially looking forward to the isolation unit. I had to ask why.
“Group work is crucial” he says. “I am so curious how the interaction with the other participants will be like.”
To prepare for next years round of selection he has already started to work out, but he still finds it challenging to be persistent.

THE GOOD WE CAN ACCOMPLISH
We discussed Robin’s motivation for participating in the Mars One program:
“To dare to go to Mars is not even a question for me. What I might loose if I don´t go is the real question. I have everything to gain by going. If something happens to me on my way there well…. that would be extremely unfortunate of course, but it would be worth it. I will be a step closer to fulfilling my childhood dream. And how many people can say that? I don´t let critics get to me. A lot of people don´t see the possibilities and all the great good we can do by going to Mars. And that’s where the focus should be. All the good we can accomplish. This is what I want to do with my life. What do you want to achieve with your life that is so much better? I think all the negativity will disappear once Mars One starts building their training facility and people realize that this project is serious.”

A JOURNEY OF FAITH
This seems as a journey of faith. Robin puts great faith in the Mars One Project and everybody who is involved. And maybe the most important thing that will keep you going when it gets tough is really to have faith? To have faith that you will make it to Mars. To have faith in the people you are traveling with. To have faith in those who made the equipment and that it will not fail you. To have faith in the company sending you to the red planet. It is all about faith.

Robins childhood dream, since he was 4,5, was to become an astronaut. And now he just might have the opportunity to become one. NRK P2 Ekko made an interview with Robin Ingebretsen and Bas Lansdorp. It went on air November 23rd – you can listen to it here: NRK.no