- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Reno’s Kay Radzik Warren is a doer, not a dreamer.

And if all goes well, in little more than a decade, she’ll be a Martian.

Radzik Warren, 53, is one of 1,058 people from around the world still in the running to become part of the first human habitation of Mars. The group has been winnowed from more than 200,000 people who applied to be part of the nonprofit Mars One Foundation project.

“I’m really, really excited,” said Radzik Warren, who concedes she was “very skeptical” when she first saw a post about the Mars One project on Facebook. That quickly changed, however.

“I went to their website and was amazed at how together they were,” she told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://on.rgj.com/1mYhV2T). “The whole idea of colonizing Mars sounded like something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always been into space and the final frontier, so I looked into applying. It was quite a big application process.”

Radzik Warren filed her application this past summer and last month learned she had made the second round of a four-round selection process that will ultimately select 24 people.

“The next step is for everyone to get the go-ahead from their physicians,” she said. “They gave us a list of all the health items we need to have looked at.”

Just in case you’re wondering if psychological testing is including in the battery of tests, it is. Rest assured, Radzik Warren is fully in control of her mental faculties.

“I’m physically fit and psychologically sound,” she said.

Her fascination with space started at an early age.

“My mom, she is a big astronomy buff,” Radzik Warren said. “She’s 86 now. She still goes out with her binoculars at night and she has books on stars and planets. So I’ve always been fascinated with space.”

An Army brat, Radzik Warren was born in Japan. She grew up in Southern California and earned a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She also studied architecture for a year in Australia, lived in Seattle and has driven cross country multiple times.

She has lived in Reno since 1998 and works as an architectural project manager. At home, she’s adept at gardening, works on her own cars and feels like she has the perfect skills to be a part of the Mars One team.

“I’m very adaptable and I’m very resilient,” she said. “I’m an adventuress. I don’t have a problem with this (Mars mission). I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from family and friends. A lot of them said, ‘I’d never do this, but you’d be perfect for it.’ I’m open to new things and I’m curious by nature.”

She hasn’t met any of the other Mars One applicants in person yet, but has connected with many of them through the project’s Facebook page.

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