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Manned Mars mission to launch in 2018 ?

Posted on Thursday, 28 February, 2013 | Comment icon 34 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

A new mission could see a male-female couple set off on a trip to Mars within the next five years.

Partially funded by multi-millionaire Dennis Tito, the Inspiration Mars mission will cost up to $2 billion and aims to send a two-person crew to Mars in what would be the first ever manned voyage to the Red Planet. Tito is using some of his own money to get things started but will be looking to raise the rest of the funds via donations and also through television and media rights. A "space act" has been signed with NASA and a number of industrial partners have come forward in the hopes of collaborating.

"I will come out a lot poorer because of this mission, but my grandchildren will come out a lot richer in terms of inspiration," said Tito. On the proposal to send a male-female couple on the trip he added - "the requirements are going to be so high. It’s going to be quite a crew-selection process."

The planned mission would last 501 days in total, sending the astronauts on a flyby of the Red Planet and straight back home again using as little fuel as possible. If it succeeds it would not only go down in history as the first manned space voyage beyond the Moon but would also teach us a great deal about the technical and psychological aspects of long-haul space travel.

"The first humans to visit Mars could be a married couple, after organisers of an ambitious manned mission to the Red Planet said that only a “tried and tested” male-female partnership could cope with the close confinement of a return trip."

  View: Full article |  Source: Independent

  Discuss: View comments (34)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #25 Posted by bison on 1 March, 2013, 21:23
If they can actually manage to do this, it could be considered preparatory for manned missions that actually land on Mars. Some of the early Apollo missions merely swooped low over the Moon's surface, looped around the Moon, and came back to Earth. They wanted to first be sure they could do do the easy stuff (not at all easy, really, except in comparison to landing on and walking about on the Moon, and making it back to Earth.).
Comment icon #26 Posted by DONTEATUS on 2 March, 2013, 0:53
Well I just hope Im still around when they fly around ! and back ! I`ll be cheering them all the Way ! Can you just imagine the mental stress ?
Comment icon #27 Posted by coolguy on 2 March, 2013, 4:42
I would like to see this happen but it will never happen. Its 2013 and we have not been back to the moon or even have a moon base. Its all science fiction as of now.
Comment icon #28 Posted by ~C.S.M~ on 2 March, 2013, 16:41
It could be done with today technology, but the deadline of five years? Im skeptical, but who knows...
Comment icon #29 Posted by promKing on 9 March, 2013, 18:07
Wouldn't it be better if they used that money to send drilling drone to moon Europa to see what's under that ocean? That would also attract TV ratings especially if there are giant octopussies just waiting to be filmed.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 9 March, 2013, 19:17
Not really. Firstly sending a manned mission around Mars is technically achievable in the short term, placing a drilling ring on Europa and drilling through kilometres of ice isn't, we simply don't know how to achieve that yet. Drilling through kilometres of ice on Earth is a difficult enough challenge, doing it by remote control in an environment as hostile as Europa is something way beyond what we can currently achieve. Secondly I think you hugely over estimate the attraction of unmanned missions whilst hugely underestimating the attraction and influence of manned missions. Ask m... [More]
Comment icon #31 Posted by promKing on 10 March, 2013, 8:31
Drilling Europa isn't technically un OR sending a radioisotope-heated sphere, built as strong as a cannonball, to be released from a spacececraft and allowed to impact Europa's surface at high velocity. The sphere would thus bury itself beneath the ice and very slowly begin to melt its way down. The surface layer of meltwater around the probe would contain the chemicals, and perhaps frozen microbes, of the Europan ocean of the past. As the probe penetrated deeper, more recently created ice would be encountered and its captured contents would be made available for analysis. Thus, as... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 11 March, 2013, 16:13
You misquoted me by ignoring that I said "in the short term". What you fail to mention is that all of these are hypothetical methods. None of them are tried and tested. None of them will be achievable by 2018, which is the proposed date of the launch of 2018, which is the proposed launch date of the mission to Mars (which is, incidentally what this topic is supposed to be about. What you find interesting is irrelevant to everyone except you. It is certainly not relevant to Denis Tito who is setting up this mission. Since his money will be partly funding this then it is what is o... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by promKing on 11 March, 2013, 21:42
Well it's not so far fetched, the biggest problem is that data for surface of Europa is mostly unknown like for that landing site of the laser ship or thinner layer for that low tech canon ball and what I think is not so irrelevant if perhaps more people were convinced and got their voice to Tito for instance. And I don't think that human missions around Mars are so attractive opposed to unmanned onto Europa because let's face it how many people can name more then three astronaut names? Probably around 10% of world population at most. People mostly know Yuri Gagarin, Neal Armstron... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 March, 2013, 14:32
Yes, and how many can name the first satellite in orbit, the first unmanned mission to land on the Moon, the first mission to Mars. The fact that Gagarin and Armstrong are global heroes rather makes my point. How many people bothered to watch the news conference given by NASA this week about discoveries on Mars? Did you? Manned missions grab the public attention in a way that no unmanned mission ever can.

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