Mom of 2 May Leave Family Forever for Historic Space Mission: Could You?

If you were given the chance of a lifetime, would you take it -- no matter the cost or sacrifice? Sonia Van Meter has made a tough decision that many parents would never imagine. She plans to leave her family on a one-way mission to Mars.


Sonia is one of 100 semi-finalists hoping to be part of Mars One, a Dutch nonprofit that hopes to establish the first permanent human settlement on Mars. If funded, participants would leave Earth in 2026 never to return.

The 36-year-old wife and stepmother of two boys has received nothing but support from her family. In fact, her husband, Jason Stanford, appears to be the main one pushing Sonia to take the journey. "Living without her will be an agony that I will have to share with the world," Jason wrote in a personal essay published in Texas Monthly. "I’ll be Mr. Sonia Van Meter for the rest of my life, showing up to cut the ribbon at Sonia Van Meter High School and telling her story here on Earth."


Let's start with the obvious: A mission to Mars isn't the same as traveling to Disneyland. There are significant risks -- including death -- that come with this mission. Perhaps Sonia and her husband might want to rethink this idea considering, I don't know, scientists and other experts think it's a very bad idea. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have determined there would be issues with maintaining healthy oxygen levels and a need for technology that doesn't even exist.

Is this not a red flag?

This isn't some sci-fi movie where an asteroid is heading for Earth and we need a new place to live. Yes, it would be great to recycle a little more and take heed of global warming, but trying to create a new community on Mars sounds crazy.

More from The Stir: 16 Warning Signs for Parents Who Leave Kids Unattended

As a mother, I can't imagine saying good-bye to my family for the sake of a trip to Mars. I already have issues leaving my babies for a long period of time (don't judge, I'm a new mom) and wouldn't dream of missing all those precious milestones us mommies love to over-share on Facebook. Can you imagine the type of abandonment issues a child can have?

If I really want to teach my kids about endless opportunities and reaching for the stars, I can do so leading by example on this planet. Maybe Sonia feels it's easy to leave her stepkids behind, but I know many moms who would beg to differ.

Aside from this story sounding odd (I'm being generous), it would seem the husband is a little too interested in his wife leaving on a jet plane -- sorry, rocket -- for good. Does this mean their wedding vows go out the window once she's gone forever?


Image via Fer Gregory/shutterstock

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