• Bellevue man among final candidates for mission to colonize Mars

    By: John Knicely


    BELLEVUE, Wash. - Carl LeCompte spends his days now on the Microsoft campus in Bellevue, but he hopes to live out the rest of his life on Mars.

     LeCompte just learned he made the cut of 100 for the Mars One project out of Denmark. Mars One plans to send 24 people to build a colony on Mars -- with the first crew of four arriving in 2025.

    LeCompte is a single, 28-year-old computer programmer who became enamored with life on another planet when he read “Dune” as a second grader.

    He was one of 200,000 initial applicants in 2013. 

    Since then he’s been through a series of applications, online interviews, and even had to get a doctor’s write-off. 

    KIRO 7 Morning Anchor John Knicely sat down with LeCompte and asked, “They think you would make a good Martian -- is that what you're saying?”

    “Apparently,” said LeCompte. “But I don't know exactly what they're looking for.”

    The majority of the process so far has been feeling out his personality.

    Mars One says the most important thing in the applicants is their ability to work together as a group.

    LeCompte has to make it through a few more rounds of cuts to be one of the 24 selected to build a colony on Mars. It will be a one way trip.

    LeCompte says his family isn’t thrilled about the idea, but he’s confident it would be the right decision.

    “It has nothing to do with leaving people behind,” said LeCompte. “I have great friends, I love my family, I have a great job.  I have a great life here -- but being part of expanding human influence and being one step closer to the stars is worth it.”

    If he makes that group he'll leave his job at Microsoft and train full time for ten years before the first four people are sent to Mars. 

    Mars One claims it will be funded by selling the television rights -- and broadcasting the whole experience as a Reality TV show. 

    Many in the science world are skeptical the project will take off.

    “I always thought the best way to prove detractors wrong is to do what you set out to do,” said LeCompte. “So maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. I certainly hope it does.”

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