When it comes to space, millionaire Dennis Tito is more than willing to put his money where his mouth is. He’s spent time on the International Space Station, but that’s not enough for him. He wants to go to Mars. Not him personally (though he probably does), he wants to be the first person to send people to mars, and he wants to accomplish the feat in 6 years, not 20. Dennis Tito’s Inspiration Mars Foundation wants to send a married couple to Mars in 2018.
It’s all part of the Inspiration Mars Foundation’s “Mission for America,” where Tito will gather the billion dollars necessary to mount a manned space mission to Mars, find the right people, and send them basically on a drive-by of Mars. The planets will be aligning January 5, 2018; after this, the next easy planetary trip will be in 2031, and by then someone will have beaten the US to Mars if we don’t hurry. Even with perfect conditions, the trip will take 501 days there and back, which is an awful long time to be cooped up with someone. Hence sending a married couple, who hopefully could get along for that long during the trip in very uncomfortable settings.
“This is going to be a Lewis and Clark mission to Mars,” said Inspiration Mars Chief Technology Officer Taber MacCallum. “Keep it bare bones, keep it simple.”
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