Whistler resident made it to Mars One’s next round, is one of 100 hopefuls

Reported by Natasha Chang, Mel Edgar, James Goldie and Deanna Cheng

Students in Mount Currie, B.C., had an out-of-this-world assembly Monday morning—their teacher, Joanna Hindle, could be jetting off on a mission to the red planet.

Hindle is currently a teaching English at Xit’olacw Community School at the Lil’wat Nation in Mount Currie. The brainchild of Dr. Norbert Kraft, Mars One aims to put a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2025. Hindle has made it to the third round of screening to be part of the Mars One.

She’ll be 52 by the time she gets to Mars, if she’s successfully chosen for Mars One. “My interest in our galaxy has stemmed from more romantic places, like Wordsworth’s description of the ruddy crest of Mars,” she said in her self-introduction video.

According to Hindle, her personality is a fit for this one-way Mars mission because she never gets bored. “I’m going to bring all the books with me, not in paper of course. I think we’re going to be a little tight on space.”

There are several big reasons why Hindle said she wants to go to Mars: “The opportunity to learn is unequaled, the refusal to adhere to the boundaries we create for ourselves in our cultures and our societies, the imaginative minds that are ignoring those boundaries and to celebrate humanity’s willingness to go and adventure.”

In her self-introduction video, Hindle appears excited, nervous, and happy, yet also serious about her decision to rocket off to Mars. “I’m not really focusing on fear right now, but I think a little bit of fear would be helpful and necessary,” she said. “I think we all should be a little bit afraid.”

A single woman, Hindle, 42, does not have any children or dependents.

Her brother Dan said he supports and respects Hindle’s reasons. “I’ll miss her but I’m full of pride, full of hope.”

Engaged to Dan, Emma Jeffries said she feels uncomfortable about the Mars mission. “I want to tell her please don’t do it because I think it’s crazy, but I’m not going to say that.”

If she goes, Hindle will be leaving behind her students. “There’s mixed emotions; [the students are] excited for me. But, to my joy, the general consensus is they don’t want me to go. That feels good.”

There’s still one more round in the selection process. “I don’t think I need to pack yet,” Hindle said with a laugh.