On May 6th, 2041, the Palioxis space vessel was successfully launched from Corpus Christi, Texas, completing a global initiative which began seven years ago. After priliminary attempts of space exploration which began nearly a century ago, VoloGen Industries and Astronautics have succeeded in bringing humanity one step closer to its rightful place in the galaxy. Commandeered by VoloGen Industries and Astronautics representative Jerilyn Rosenthal, the Palioxis launch vessel entered Earth's orbit at 12:50 AM before secondary and tertiary booster engines were fired. Rosenthal was selected for this mission out of a pool of 1.4 million applicants from 127 countries. The journey to Mars will take approximately six months to complete, at which point Rosenthal will establish a permanent habitat on the Martian surface. Before her departure, Rosenthal shared one final message with the human race:
"It is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to the only home I've known. As I cast my eyes upwards to the great expanse that awaits me, I ask that all your thoughts and prayers be with me. I truly believe that I am leaving this planet in a better state than which I've entered it, and that with our combined pursuit of truth and knowledge, we, as humanity, will find our prospective place in the universe. I leave Earth not as an outcast or an expatriate, but as a conduit of knowledge for the journey that is yet to come."
At a press conference conducted immediately after the launch, communications director Denise Montoro stated, "Today marks a historic occasion for not only VoloGen Industries and Astronautics, but for humanity at large. As Rosenthal undergoes her journey to the red planet, we on Earth can have the benefit of knowing that her intrepidness will provide boundless insight into growing fields of science for decades to come." VoloGen Industries and Astronautics founder Neville Paulson was briefly spotted at the press conference, but would not field any questions. Flight Director Louis Hadley later stated that the Palioxis vessel launched without any complications and is on course without any hinderances or technical issues.
Before her departure, Airis News journalist Natalie Finnigan sat down with Jerilyn Rosenthal in Wichita, Kansas to discuss her thoughts about humanity, her childhood, her family and her hopes for the future.