Virginia stepmom Sonia Van Meter has been chosen as one of the finalists for the Mars One Project. She will be leaving her family forever when she boards she spaceship and waves good-bye to planet Earth. Jason Stanford, Van Meter’s husband, is still trying to come to terms with his wife’s decision to leave the family.
The Mars One Project hopefuls include others passenger hopefuls who are married with children, like Sonia Van Meters. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the list of individuals who are willing to spend the rest of their lives on Mars in an effort to create a permanent colony includes 33 Americans, ranging in age from 19 to 60. Approximately 200,000 people volunteered to be a part of Mars One.
Sonia Van Meter, 36, was blasted on social media after her name was announced as one of the Mars One Project passengers. A multitude of commenters felt the Mars One volunteer was making a selfish and uncaring decision to abandon her husband and two stepsons, Henry, 13, and Hatcher, 11.
Jason Stanford referred to himself as an astronaut wife, a Daily Mail report notes. The first Mars One mission is scheduled to launch in 2026. Four people will be dropped off on the Red Planet. Four passengers will then be taken to Mars every two years after the initial flight.
“This was bigger than me,” Jason Standford told Texas Monthly. “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.”
Stanford also addressed his Austin, Texas, native wife being attacked on social media. He deemed the negative comments “incendiary.”
“She’s been asked how she could abandon me more times than most people have been asked if they want fries with that,” Standford noted. “But if, a decade from now, I’m looking up at the rocket that will take her away from me forever, I’m going to have to expect that she’ll change not just in the way any of us are shaped by novel experiences but in ways humans have yet to experience.”
Former NASA scientist Dr. Joseph Roche dramatically dropped out of the Mars One Project in March. He claimed that only about 3,000 volunteers had actually applied to be a part of the colony on Mars, and said the passengers which were chosen “bought their way in.”
Jason Stanford said that Sonia Van Meter was not paid to be involved with the Mars One mission, which was created by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp. A 2013 study maintained that the passengers will be exposed to “dangerously high radiation” levels when traveling from Earth to Mars.
“Imagine that you know you will be watching your spouse evolve on another planet before she dies of cancer inside of a decade. Imagine that everyone on Earth is watching with you. Now imagine that this no longer seems strange,” Stanford added.
Sonia Van Meter’s husband has said he now realizes the time has come to stop fighting against the Mars One mission.
“Playing the odds has not worked so far, and it’s looking worse. 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.”
— Mars One (@MarsOneProject) July 17, 2015
Van Meter will begin training for the Mars One Project in 2016. She will participate in a “high-tech isolation section” to determine if she has compatibility skills necessary to spend 24 hours a day with the other astronauts.
[Images via Facebook, Mars One / Twitter]