Mars colonization project finalist speaks to Plaza students

It’s a question that seems so hypothetical you would not think people actually ponder its possibilities in real life.

If you could make history, but never be able to come home again, would you do it?

For Heidi Beemer, an Ocean Lakes High School graduate, the answer is yes.

IMG_2625Beemer is in the elite company of finalists who have passed the first cut to be one of the first colonists on the planet Mars. If selected, Beemer would spend the rest of her life building and working in the Mars colony.

Recently, Beemer sat down for a Skype session with students at Plaza Middle School.

Classes there were working on a problem-based learning assessment in which students were tasked with researching viable options in the solar system for future human colonization. As part of the lesson, students have to research and analyze the solar system’s suns, planets and moons to select the most feasible option to colonize.

3-10-2014 4-33-49 PMAfter reading news coverage of Beemer’s real life quest to take to Mars, staff at Plaza reached out to her to see if she would be interested in speaking to students. She immediately accepted the invitation to talk to the students and answer their questions.

And, questions they had plenty.

What if the other astronauts she is selected with don’t speak English?

What happens if you get sick?

What are the requirements to go to Mars?

Do you think you will run into Martians?

However, it did not take long for the one question on most people’s minds: Why do you want to go?

Beemer explained that when she was growing up, she saw the first images from the Mars Exploration Rover and that experience has never left her.

“This is a goal I’ve had for a very long time,” she said.

However, it’s more than just a life goal, she explained. It’s the next step in the exploration of the world.

“It sounds kind of silly – why would anyone want to go to Mars?” Beemer told the students. “We will never know those answers until we send people there…(and) If they’re going to send anyone, it might as well be me.”

For more about Beemer’s potential mission to Mars, visit


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