Mars trip still within reach for Austin woman

Sonia Van Meter
Sonia Van Meter - MARS One candidate

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Sonia Van Meter’s quest to make it aboard a mission to Mars got closer to reality this week.

The Austinite made it to the third round of applicants for the first manned mission to Mars in 2025. The pool was narrowed from 1,058 applicants to 706.

At the LBJ Library Space Exhibit in February, Van Meter told KXAN she was determined to be one of the final four people chosen for the one-way Mars One mission, a privately funded journey for four people to colonize the Red Planet. She has no traditional space or science background.

She studied sociology and works at a political consulting firm, but she says this is her life’s ambition, even if she has to leave behind everyone she loves.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to become part of a legacy stretching from Magellan and Christopher Columbus, all the way to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

Van Meter’s husband is supportive of his wife’s dream.

Next up for Van Meter is an interview with a regional Mars One selection committee. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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