The multi-millionaire tourism investor, space travel visionary and the world’s first space tourist (in 2001, he stayed on board of the International Space Station for eight days – a reported $20 million worth vacation), Dennis Tito, has launched a non-profit organization named the “Inspiration Mars Foundation”, which plans a 2018 private Mars space trip.
On February 27th will be held a news conference to announce this 501-day round-trip mission to the Red Planet, with a January 2018 launch. Also the 72-year-old millionaire will hold a conference, on March 3rd, at the IEEE Aerospace Conference in Montana.
The “Mission for America” brings space knowledge and experience and it is intended to make Americans to believe in the possibility of doing the unbelievable through engineering, technology, science and motivation, according to a press release from Inspiration Mars on February 20th.
The mission will use a modified SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched with a Falcon Heavy rocket and will have on board two astronauts.
We do not have an overall cost confirmed, but this first Mars space trip would be privately financed and cheaper than previous missions.
Another company, SpaceX has is trying to send people on Mars through a similar mission called “Red Dragon”. This one will use its Dragon capsule devices to complete the mission.
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Photo courtesy of SpaceX