By now, you’ve probably heard of the Mars One program which aims to send non-astronauts (“normal people”) to Mars for good by 2024. This is a one-way ticket. Thousands of people applied, but only a select few have made it down to the final rounds. One of them is 26-year-old Jaymee Del Rosario of Long Beach, California. The entrepreneur and founder of International Metal Source might have to change her company name to Universal Metal Source in five years. Her business has been up and running since 2009 and focuses on distributing raw metals/composites to the space, commercial, aerospace and defense industries. In other words, she’s not a total newbie when it comes to this land stellarscape.
A Dutch non-profit is behind Mars One, and is the first project committed to actually colonizing on another planet. Should Del Rosario be one of the chosen few, a rover will be sent to Mars by 2020 in preparation for the 24-peron colonization in 2024. Two groups of 12 will be sent in waves over a two-year period. Mars One has a lot of critics, but it seems to be moving forward. In February 2015, a pool of 200,000 candidates was whittled down to 50 men and 50 women from around the globe.
When Opportunity Knocks
What would an entrepreneur want with life on the Red Planet? According to Del Rosario she wants to move planets because of the immense human-inflicted damage on earth, because humans owe it to themselves to explore space, and the most entrepreneurial-infused answer of all: “Why not?” It’s that kind of attitude that made Del Rosario a successful entrepreneur at such a young age (she was just 20 when she founded her company).
She notes she’s always been a “very bold, extraordinary…risk taker. Therefore, to my business partner, employees, family and friends, this is normal to me.” Del Rosario already has tentative plans in place should she take flight in nine years, complete with a business partner who’s willing and able to take over the duties here on earth.
“I see endless possibilities,” she muses when envisioning life on Mars. Plus, “I have a team in place (here on Earth) that is very dependable, brilliant and supportive, as well as my business partner who has been a big part of this company.” However, she does plan to continue on as CEO—from a very distant office, of course.
Are Entrepreneurs Born Astronauts?
A lot of what Del Rosario looks forward to and expects from Mars One is in keeping with entrepreneurial life. “I know there will be a lot of researching, learning, and bonding with teams,” she says. That sounds eerily familiar to life in a startup. Plus, she’s quick to point out that her time on earth (so far) has been excellent training grounds. “I am a leader who is not afraid to explore different ways of thinking,” she says. “When working with teams and troubleshooting problems, I can rise to the challenge and provide a significant role in this mission to Mars.”
In Del Rosario’s opinion, anyone—not just entrepreneurs—are a great fit for moving to Mars. Yet she does offer one word of advice for space travelers and entrepreneurs alike: “We need to believe in our capabilities. We need to take risks and believe that everything will be okay,” she says.
No matter where you set up shop, those sage words of wisdoms can help shoot you to the stars.