When most of us wake up in the morning, we drink some coffee, maybe exercise for a bit and then get started dominating our industry for the day. Entrepreneur Jaymee Del Rosario does all these same things, except add one thing to the list: She dreams of moving to Mars.
Turns out, her science-fiction dreams are set in reality. First, a little background. Del Rosario -- who lives in Long Beach, Calif. -- founded International Metal Source in 2009. The company distributes raw material metals and composites to the aerospace, space, defense and commercial industries around the world.
More recently, the 26-year-old applied to a Dutch non-profit initiative called Mars One, which has ambitious plans to colonize Mars. Yes, the group plans on giving people one-way tickets to live full time on the Red Planet.
Mars One says it plans to send a rover and communication satellite to Mars by the year 2020 to scout an area to settle. By 2024, the organization plans to start sending a total of 24 people -- in groups sent in two-year waves -- to set up and grow the colony.
While its plans and timeline arguably might be unrealistic, Mars One is pushing forward. Last week, the group whittled its list of more than 200,000 applicants down to 100: 50 men and 50 women from all over the world. Among the 100 chosen are several entrepreneurs, including Del Rosario.
Is she crazy? Or crazy inspired? We chatted with Del Rosario to find out what motivates her to someday possibly leave Earth to build a human settlement on another planet. Here’s what she had to say.
Entrepreneur: Why the heck would you want to go to Mars?
Del Rosario: I have three reasons.
- To preserve humanity by space exploration of another planet, which one day may be our last resort because of the damage we are doing to Earth.
- We owe this space exploration to other species. Since we have the awareness, capability, knowledge and more, we owe this to more than just the survival of humanity.
- Why not?
How have your friends, family and even your colleagues reacted to your being selected to be among the Mars 100?
They know me to be very bold, extraordinary and a risk taker. Therefore, to my business partner, employees, family and friends, this is normal to them. No matter what, I know that they will love and support me.
When you imagine life on Mars, what do you see?
I see endless possibilities. I see myself exploring a new world and widening my knowledge and capabilities, creating a foundation for all humanity and the generations to come.
To be specific, I know there will be a lot of researching, learning and bonding with teams during our experiences on Mars. It will be about survival.
How would you say your life here on Earth as an entrepreneur has prepared you to go to Mars?
I am a leader who is not afraid to explore different ways of thinking. In my work, I analyze and specialize in raw material metals that I provide for my clients, which is beneficial to their research and development. This is knowledge that I will carry on. When working with teams and troubleshooting problems, I can rise to the challenge and provide a significant role in this mission to Mars.
If you do end up going, what will come of your business after you leave?
I have a team in place that is very dependable, brilliant and supportive, as well as my business partner who has been a big part of this company. They will be the ones who will carry on and continue to grow this company when I go to Mars. I believe and trust in them that they will make our company to be a continuous success story -- while their CEO supports them on Mars.
In your opinion, is Mars a good place for an entrepreneur?
Mars is good for everyone.
In exploring and colonizing a new planet, whatever your background or credentials, you are starting from scratch. Going there with only what you know to help your team to survive and lay down the foundation for others that will follow.
What scares you the most about committing to this project?
I will miss all of the Earth's beauty -- but this does not scare me or discourage me.
In the future, we will look back to this moment and smile. We need to believe in our capabilities. We need to take risks and believe that everything will be OK.
Related: The Next Startup Frontier: Mars?