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A mission to Mars? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

A mission to Mars?

WHITEHALL, N.Y. -

A Whitehall police officer may be going to Mars.

Randy Bevins spends his days as an officer at the Whitehall police Department. But lately, he has his eye on going somewhere 33 million miles away.

"It's going to be the next giant leap without a doubt. Mars is going to be eventually colonized. It's going to happen. I think that's the step, the stepping stone, for extra solar system type of activity," Bevins said.

Bevins has made it to round two of the Mars One competition. It's organization that is setting out to establish a permanent human settlement on the fourth planet from the sun. Out of 200,000 applicants, Bevins is now in the final 1,058.

"In people's lives, I guess, if there's one thing that they could do that they've dreamed of their entire lives, and they actually have an opportunity to do it, I think it's a no-brainer, you have to do it," Bevins said.

Bevins now faces a regional interview and medical exam. If selected, he will go through ten years of training before blasting off in 2024. Even if he doesn't get chosen, Bevins says he has already won, as the competition inspired him to lose 150 pounds in just over a year.

"I knew, I mean you kind of know with things like this, you have to be in a little bit better shape than 350 pounds," Bevins said.

Bevins's partner at the police department, patrolman Jeffrey Grenier, says he fully supports his colleague's dream.

"I think it would be great. I know Randy, and to brag about it, that I knew him at one point and I worked with him side by side. I think it would be great," said patrolman Jeffrey Grenier.

If Bevins goes to Mars with Mars One he's never coming back. But, he says he is prepared to leave his life on Earth behind forever.

"It obviously is going to be difficult to leave family and friends. It's just one of those things that is part of the consideration when you take the trip," Bevins said.

In the coming years, Mars One will begin establishing a reliable living environment on Mars. So, when their astronauts, possibly including Bevins, arrive, there will already be a place waiting for them to live.

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