ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Zachary Gallegos has been selected from a pool of 202,000+ candidates into the third round of 700 to be aboard the first manned mission to Mars. Dutch non-profit Mars One is planning to send explorers to the Red Planet in 10 years time to establish a permanent colony. There is no return mission planned, so all astronauts must be aware that this is a one way trip. Recently, issues regarding the mission’s parameters have come into question after MIT published a feasibility report. However, Gallegos says these issues, such as excess oxygen production by plants, can be solved as there are still 10 years left until launch.
Zachary Gallegos, 27, is a graduate student at the University of New Mexico studying Earth and Planetary Sciences with an emphasis in Mars exploration studies. He works on the latest robotic rover mission, the Mars Science Laboratory currently on the surface of Mars, checking the calibration of the ChemCam laser instrument.
During his undergraduate career at UNM, Gallegos earned the New Mexico Space Grant two years in a row to further his Mars exploration research. After undergraduate, Gallegos spent time at NASA co-authoring a book which details the best localities to send humans back to explore the Moon.