Millionaire Dennis Tito has announced plans to send a human couple on a 501 day flyby mission to Mars, via an optimistic schedule that will require several major advances in long duration space flight capabilities. The project will receive two years of initial funding via Tito, with an aim of launching in January, 2018.
The announcement on Wednesday introduced a non-profit foundation called “Inspiration Mars”, an organization that will also serve as the primary contractor for the mission, overseeing planning, training, systems development, processing and operations.
See on www.nasaspaceflight.com
After more than a week of rumors, Dennis Tito and his Inspiration Mars Foundation team outlined their plans for a human trip to fly-by Mars in 2018 at a press conference in Washington, DC today (February 27). Few details about the cost or architecture for the mission were revealed, but that appeared to be primarily because they do not know themselves. With only five years to go before launch, despite the team’s palpable enthusiasm, the lack of detailed planning and funding are major obstacles.
The messages today were that the Inspiration Mars team believes America needs to send humans to Mars to inspire the next generation; they have a viable concept that involves almost no government investment; yes, it is risky, but informed consent will guide the decisions of potential crew members; and the time is now because if they miss the 2018 launch date there won’t be another chance like this until 2031
See on www.spacepolicyonline.com
Millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito and his partners have had to tell questioners repeatedly that they’re not “crazy” or “nuts” to think they can launch a man and a woman to Mars and back by 2019 — but if the Inspiration Mars Foundation’s “Mission for America” succeeds, it may well be because it’s just crazy enough.
Other private space ventures, ranging from SpaceX to the Golden Spike Company and Planetary Resources, are depending on turning a profit someday through the sale of rocket flights, or missions to the moon, or water and precious metals mined from asteroids. Tito, in contrast, freely admits the 501-day mission is a “one-shot deal” that’s unencumbered by a long-range business plan. He’s committed to supporting the five-year development effort for the first two years, during which time he and the rest of the team will try to raise the money and perfect the technologies for the three more expensive years to follow.
See on cosmiclog.nbcnews.com
Primarily seen as a strategy to lure SpaceX missions, a proposed state-run launch complex inside Kennedy Space Center has drawn strong interest from another growing private space firm, public records show.
Blue Origin, backed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, says Space Florida’s proposed “Shiloh” site would be a good fit for tests of a reusable booster and eventual launches of cargo and crews to orbit.
“Blue Origin is keenly interested in conducting orbital launch operations at the Shiloh facility,” the company said in response to state request for information from interested launch providers.
See on www.floridatoday.com
Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) of Dulles, Va., has engaged top aerospace organizations in the United States and from across the globe to help develop the Antares launch vehicle and Cygnus cargo spacecraft for upcoming space station cargo resupply missions. This approach supports timely and cost effective development of their new commercial cargo transportation system and is consistent with the National Space Policy of the United States which has a goal to “expand international cooperation on mutually beneficial space activities”.
Orbital is the Antares prime integrator and has overall responsibility for systems engineering and integration, avionics development, software, guidance/navigation and control, primary structure, testing, verification and operations.
See on www.parabolicarc.com
A private group’s ambitious plan to launch a manned mission to Mars five years from now is just the latest entry in a burgeoning field — the non-governmental exploration of deep space.
The nonprofit Inspiration Mars Foundation announced today (Feb. 27) that it aims to launch two people on a 501-day Mars flyby mission in January 2018. The main goals are to generate excitement about space travel and test out technologies that will be needed to put boots on Mars in the future, officials said.
See on www.space.com
CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria Statement on the Announcement of the Inspiration Mars Foundation | SpaceRef
“Today’s announcement by the Inspiration Mars Foundation is as exciting as the project is ambitious,” stated CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “This philanthropic effort shares some of the fundamental values of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, including the belief that innovation and inspiration can be created by all Americans. We look forward to following the Foundation’s progress over the coming months and years.”
See on www.spaceref.com