Philippine-born and California-based entrepreneur Jaymee del Rosario has emerged as a qualified candidate to become an astronaut for the first ever Mars space travel.
Del Rosario was chosen among 202,586 applicants globally to become one of the 100 candidates for the ‘Mars One’ project.
Del Rosario, the guest speaker at ‘Pandesal Forum’ held at the 77-year-old Kamuning Bakery Cafe along Judge Jimenez Street in Quezon City on Jan. 8, said she wanted to be a part of the quest to establish a human settlement on Mars.
Del Rosario is one of two Filipinas shortlisted to join the ambitious Mars space voyage, the other being Minerva Rañeses of Pasig City. They are among the 50 female candidates from all continents of the world who made the cut in the third round of astronaut selection and will compete with one another for two one-way tickets to Mars. Fifty men will also compete for the other two one-way tickets out of Earth.
Del Rosario, who was born in the Philippines, is now a US-based entrepreneur, metallurgist, political science junkie, a co-founder of social media platform Giggup and president and chief executive of International Metal Source.
International Metal Source distributes raw material metals and exotic alloys to aerospace, defense and commercial industries.
The Netherlands-based ‘Mars One’ project offers four one-way tickets to Mars, which Del Rosario sees as a great opportunity to help mankind find another place for humans to travel to and live in.
Del Rosario said that she accepts the risks involved. “Death is just an exit, just a part of life. You can walk out of the door and die. As long as you are at peace in your heart, I’m at peace with death. But of course, this is not what this voyage is about. I’m optimistic, hopeful and excited about what this Mars space travel can mean to life for us humans, to helping build a better future for all mankind,” she said.
“If I am privileged to have been chosen among those to finally travel to Mars, I hope that we can help create a new world of peace and a world of conservation of the environment there. If I set foot on Mars, my first words would be: Mars, no war,” Del Rosario said.
Science Secretary Mario Montejo sent his message of support to Del Rosario through assistant secretary Raymund Liboro who attended the forum.
Montejo and Liboro said the government supports the development of science and technology to ensure not only Philippine economic growth, but also the upliftment of the people’s quality of life.
The department also provided technological support and technical guidance to Kamuning Bakery Cafe’s upgraded production capacities, while still retaining its artisanal and antique ‘pugon’ or wood-fired brick ovens.
“Hopefully, Jaymee Del Rosario’s example of seeking to volunteer for the Mars project can encourage better interest in science and technology nationwide, also empowerment of women,” World Balance footwear’s marketing officer Eric Nadurata said at the Pandesal Forum.
Mars One is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands that has proposed to land the first humans on Mars and establish a permanent human colony there by 2027.
The private spaceflight project is led by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, who announced the Mars One project in May 2012. Mars One wants to start sending groups of four on the one-way trip to Mars by 2023.
Pandesal Forum hopes to help elevate the quality of public discourse in the Philippines on current affairs, politics, economics and other topics by focusing more on socio-economic, gut or ‘pandesal’ issues. It also hopes to advocate genuine reforms and new ideas.
The non-partisan, liberal, pro-people and informal Pandesal Forum was started on Sept. 15, 2015 by writer Wilson Lee Flores as convenor and moderator.