My best friend Vanessa Nigro Halby and I used to climb almost daily. We met at the climbing gym, when I saw her tumbling off the top of a bouldering wall because she missed the last dyno. That's climbing speak for a move that can only be made by jumping for it. If you miss it, you'll fall.
We all know about this go-to-Mars-and-never-come-back-thing, right? If not, type "Mars One" on any electronic device and check it out. I'm totally sure that the idea of a one-way trip to the Red Planet significantly contributed to the media success of this project. Nevertheless, every single time I answer questions from the public, fans and reporters, I get stuck on this point: the "no-return policy."
I find myself living at a very particular point in the almost 4 billion years of the evolution of life on this planet. I feel extraordinarily lucky to be alive right now, when for the very first time, we are able to investigate terrestrial life on scales smaller than the size of atoms, as well as look to the skies for evidence of extra-terrestrial life many hundreds of light years beyond Earth.
After thousands of people applied for Mars One from all over the world, only 1,058 were chosen by December 2013 for round two. I was one of them. I was shocked when I received that email. I probably read it like 10 times, with one thought crossing my mind. Why me?
I was an atheist who died and discovered I was wrong. A "straight-A" kid willing to worship only the preachings of scientific method, finding all religion and spiritual mumbo jumbo to be a crock o' shit. That is, until I stopped breathing.
He's having some trouble "with girls here on earth" though...
We might be able to live on Mars one day, but it won't be easy.
Will there be pizza on the Red Planet?
If humanity wants to continue, it has to shoot for the stars. The future, if we have one, is indeed a Star Trek, my friends. But it is also people like Leonard Nimoy -- artists, optimists, dreamers and thinkers. The people who will one day really take us to the stars.
But in a conversation with HuffPost Live on Wednesday, NASA astronaut Ron Garan, whose space travels include a six-month