SAIT grad hoping to be one of the first men on Mars

Man in Mars: Zac Trolley, one of the 1,058 finalists for the Mars One project, stands in front of his Mars One poster, wearing his Mars One tshirt. (Photo by Zehra Tajouri/The Press)
Zac Trolley, recently named one of 1,058 world finalists to go on a mission to Mars, is the only Calgarian who has made the short list of candidates.

Trolley, who is a SAIT graduate, was one of more than 200,000 people who applied for the opportunity of a lifetime, to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2025.

“My biggest fear is that it won’t happen,” says Trolley, 31, said in an interview with The Press.

“There are millions of things that can go wrong and ruin everything.”

Trolley, who submitted an application earlier this year, recently had to provide the results of his medical exam to the Mars One officials to be looked over.

“Throughout spring and summer they’re going to do interviews. They said some of them might be competitions, some of them might be televised. We don’t know for sure yet.”

If Trolley is chosen as one of the final 24 people for the mission, his training will include nine months in a classroom and three months of isolation, so that Mars One officials can determine what skills each member of the group has.

Mars One is hoping to send four people at a time to Mars, at two-year intervals.

The project, which is not-for-profit and raising most of its money through crowd sourcing, is a one-way ticket to Mars. The applicants all knew it was without the guarantee that they would return to Earth when they first applied.

Trolley says this does not bother him, as Mars has been a dream of his since he was a child.

 My biggest fear is that it won’t happen.”

“It’s within reach, we have all the technology to go, and it’s possible to get there. It’s just about timing.

“This is the step that, when they look back, they’ll say, ‘getting to Mars was the catalyst.’”

He adds that his family and friends are supportive, and believes that after the first couple years, Mars will be easily accessible for anyone to travel to.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be the next gold rush, that people can just get there within a few more years.”

While some people are vehemently against the project and believe it won’t succeed, Trolley says that even the moon landing had its naysayers.

“Some of them have some very valid concerns about the mission, but we’re going to address them. It’s not that we’re going to ignore them or shuffle them along.”

With 1,057 other finalists, Trolley said he’s chatted with a few finalists on Twitter and is excited to meet them.

The next step for the engineer is to get through the live interviews with the Mars One officials. He adds that if the competition turns into a reality show, he’s not against the idea.

“I’m excited for sharing the experience.”