Bridgeton woman still in the running for mission to Mars

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BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI) - A Bridgeton woman could someday make space travel history.  Maggie Duckworth is one of 100 people from around the world being considered for a one-of- a-kind space mission to Mars.

We introduced you to the costume creator, zipper maker and electrical engineer in January of 2014.

She was one of 200,000 applicants from around the world.  A Dutch non-profit was looking for humans willing to travel to Mars, and live there in an effort to start a colony.

This week Duckworth learned she’s still in the running for Mars One.  She survived round 3 of eliminations.  There are now 100 potential space travelers still in the hunt.

Duckworth has been ready for this mission ever since she was a child.

“When I was young, I had telescopes.  I made star charts.”

Mars exploration isn’t easy.  There have been failed attempts with unmanned spacecraft.  Duckworth knows there will be risks.  She knows there is a chance she will not survive a trip to Mars.

“Even if I don’t make it and I die, I have done something that I wanted to do,” said Duckworth.  “I’ve kept my eye on that goal.”

A study by researchers from MIT recently determined the 1st person to land on Mars would not survive beyond 68 days.  There are issues with radiation, lack of oxygen, lack of water and extreme cold.

Duckworth shrugged off the danger saying, “Everything I learn each day will go to the next study and will go to the next people who make it to Mars.  I definitely think it’s something we should pursue.”

Duckworth also hopes her mission inspires greater interest in science back on earth.  She was one of 2 girls in her electrical engineering classes.

“There’s a lot of intelligent girls out there that really need to get out there and see that it’s cool,” said Duckworth.

She cited books from the 1980’s predicting a human colony would exist on Mars by 2015.

“It’s time to catch up.”

The mission is scheduled to launch in 2024.  Six teams of 4 will travel every other year.   Duckworth did not know when the number of potential space explorers would be cut from 100 to 24.​

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