17th June 2014
Who says accountants are dull and never leave the office? Not us anyway, especially as one member of the profession could be among the very first human beings to step foot on Mars.
Scottish accountant Sarah Johnson is blazing a trail for the rest after being shortlisted for a project to establish a human settlement on the Red Planet by 2025 as part of the Mars One expedition. Johnson, who works at EY Abu Dhabi, is among the 705 final contenders for this very special trip.
But she would have to resign from her position, as the ticket to Mars is a one-way deal. Johnson, who is from Inverness, made the final cut from an estimated 200,000 applications and would be one of just 20 people to venture to Mars should she be successful.
Apparently her profession was one of the reasons behind her bid, and not because the $6 billion project will need on-site auditing.
"The reason I want to go on the mission to Mars is I find myself waking up every morning thinking there must be more to life and the reason for that is probably because I am an accountant,” Johnson said in her application video.
"But I want to dispel the myth that accountants are dull and boring by becoming the world's first astronaut accountant."
The first manned spaceflights to Mars will be launched in 2024, with crews of four travelling to the Red Planet to establish a habitable settlement. But before all this, Johnson can expect to extreme go through a rigorous final selection process and elite training programme run by pre-eminent scientists, adventurers and astronauts.