Saturday, February 23, 2013

2018 Mars Manned Mission Planned by 1st Space Tourist

February 21, 2013 |  Comments13

Mosaic of the Valles Marineris hemisphere of Mars

Yesterday, a mysterious group called the Inspiration Mars Foundation announced vague plans for a “historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days” scheduled for 2018. The group neglected to mention if the trip would be manned, instead directing the public to a press conference scheduled for February 27. But new information reveals that the individuals behind the Inspiration Mars Foundation plan to send two people on a flight to Mars and back—presumably in one piece.

The Inspiration Mars Foundation was formed by millionaire Dennis Tito, 72, the first person to pay for a ticket to the International Space Station. He and his partners will be giving a talk next month at the IEEE Aerospace Conference on “Feasibility Analysis for a Manned Mars Free Return Mission in 2018.” According to the NewSpace Journal, which obtained a copy of the paper the group plans to present at the conference, the Mars mission would use a modified version of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, which last year made a successful delivery of cargo to the ISS. (Dragon was designed to carry people as well as cargo, but has not yet carried any astronauts into space.) The capsule would venture out to Mars and slingshot back around toward Earth on a 501-day mission. Timing is critical: the orbits of Earth and Mars line up for a small window beginning in January 2018; the next available window for a mission like this is in 2031.

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Source: Scientific American Magazine.

Related Blog Post --

Married Couple to Circle Mars in 2018? (2013 Feb. 27):

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