The Norman Transcript

Headlines

June 9, 2014

Johnston is the man for Mars

NORMAN — A 71-year-old man sat in his blue, full-body NASA flight suit Sunday, telling stories about his work with NASA and how he now has a shot at fulfilling his own dreams of going to Mars.

Ken Johnston, who spent many of his younger years in Oklahoma, is one of 705 semifinalists in the Mars One astronaut selection process that plans to send the first humans to colonize the planet Mars in 2024.

“The teams will consist of two men and two women, all four from different continents, or different countries,” Johnston said.

There were over 200,000 applications sent in from all over the world for the first selection program. Only 40 people will be selected to go on the mission to Mars to permanently settle, he said.

“We land in 2025 and our first job is to hook up those habitats and get the green houses going, and we won’t be doing much science research, although you’re there in the middle of it trying to get things ready,” Johnston said. “Every two years Mars comes back into conjunction with the Earth on the same side, we’ll launch another team of four people.”

If Johnston gets selected for the project, he will be leaving behind on Earth a wife, five children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. While some may have a hard time being separated permanently, Johnston said it was his wife who heard about Mars One and told her husband to apply, knowing it was a life-long dream of his.

“It has been my dream since I was a child and now I have the opportunity to take my whole life’s experience and put it towards the accomplishment of something that will have an effect on all of mankind. Even with the dangers there, it’s worth it,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • James Garner James Garner dies at 86

    NEW YORK — Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety....

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • garnervisit1 Family, friends recall Garner’s Norman roots

    Flowers started arriving at the James Garner statue at Main Street and Jones Avenue Sunday morning after residents learned of the famed actor and Norman native’s death Saturday night in California. Norman resident Roy Hamilton, who grew ...

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014