Meet 31-year-old Vinod Kotiya from Bhopal, who dreams of making it to Mars and settle on the planet permanently. Kotiya is among 31 Indians who have applied for a one-way ticket to Mars.
In the category of Indian applicants he is reportedly currently leading in the first round of the selection procedure with four stars.
The Mars One Foundation is a Dutch non-profit organisation that claims that it will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023.
As per the procedure as laid down in the form for making it to the planet the applicants have to clear four rounds to become a part of the team that will leave the first human footprints on Mars.
Kotiya, a manager posted at NTPC, Delhi happens to be the first Indian who applied for the extraterrestrial experiment.
Talking to Hindustan Times on phone Kotiya said, "A one-way mission to Mars is about exploring a new world like Christopher Columbus and Vasco-de-Gama had done. It is an opportunity to conduct the most revolutionary research ever conceived, to build a new home for humans on another planet.”
"I am ready to endure every difficulty because this will be the flight carrying me to my dream. I always wanted to be an astronaut but I couldn't succeed. But through Mars One project, I can become a Mars astronaut," Kotiya added.
In the first round, applicants will be selected on the basis of their popularity level and answers to certain questions. Kotiya is leading the popularity graph in India group of applicants and is quite confident that he will get selected for the second round.
"This is a one-way ticket so there is no possibility of returning to Earth. I have a one-year-old daughter. This has created a panic too in my family. My wife has asked me not to go ahead with this project but I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Kotiya said.
Talking about the extremely cold weather condition on Mars and the chances of his survival, Kotiya said, "I have worked on a hydro power project in the Himalayan region where I had to provide basic IT infrastructure in a difficult hilly terrain for six years. So, I am not afraid of the cold climate. "
On the words doing the rounds that the project would never take off he said people should have a positive mindset. Success might come or not but what was necessary that one should take an initiative to explore new world.