Mars mission set for 2018

A non-profit organisation is hoping to send the first manned space mission to Mars in 2018.

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Dennis Tito: 'The goal is to find the right married couple'

Millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito has unveiled ambitious plans to send a man and a woman near planet Mars in January 2018.

He is looking for a mature married to make the the 501-day flight that will go within 100 miles of the martian surface before swinging back to Earth.

He told ITV News that it would be hard, but was 'do-able' with the right couple.

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Wanted: For a mission to Mars

The Inspiration Mars team have said that the ideal crew for the mission will be, "two professional crew members - one man, one woman - flying as private US citizens."

Jane Poynter added that the crew members they sought should be a 'proven couple,' to help cope with the long trip.

Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man' is based on the correlation of ideal human proportions - the ideal astronaut? Credit: Reuters

The website for the mission added that, "method of crew selection and specific criteria to be announced at a later date."

Mars astronauts will tweet from the red planet

Jane Poynter has spoken about how the astronauts in the mars mission will help inspire future generations and how they will remain in contact with Earth.

Ms Poynter told a press conference to launch the mission, "imagine a 13-year-old girl and her classmates getting a tweet from the female astronaut at Mars, looking down on that planet for the first time and describing what she's seeing."

Jane Poynter is the president and chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation, who are leading the development of the Environmental Control and Life Support System for Inspiration Mars.

Mars mission receives $10 donation from 6-year-old boy

Speaking at the Inspiration Mars Foundation launch Taber MacCallum highlighted both the charitable fund raising and the hope for education when citing a recent $10 donation from a 6-year-old boy who said, "I want to be one of the first to send a donation - because this is my Apollo."

Several of those speaking at the launch have referenced the Apollo missions as inspiration.

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Cost of Mars mission to be 'lower than expected'

The Inspiration Mars will be funded largely through private, charitable donations, but at the launch Dennis Tito said the cost would be 'lower than expected.'

Dennis Tito speaking today Credit: RTV

Dennis Tito said; "We can't come up with a number but we know that the cost will be much much lower than you would expect from a Mars mission. It'll be more like a mission to low Earth orbit. Now that's inexpensive but it's at least in a dollar range that we can comfortably raise the money."

Details of manned Mars mission revealed

Inspiration Mars said that the mission will consist of a modified capsule launched out of the Earth's orbit using a single propulsive manoeuvre to put it on a trajectory for Mars.

The view from the landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover toward the lower reaches of Mount Sharp on Mars Credit: REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The company said; "An inflatable habitat module will be deployed after launch and detached prior to re-entry. Closed-loop life support and operational components will be located inside the vehicle, designed for simplicity and “hands-on” maintenance and repair."

Bid to send manned mission to Mars

Officials with the Inspiration Mars Foundation, a new nonprofit organisation founded by the first 'space tourist' Dennis Tito, have announced plans for a 501-day journey around the Red Planet during a rare planetary alignment that occurs five years from now.

NASA photo of Mars where Inspiration Mars Foundation hope to send two private citizens Credit: PA Photo/Nasa

Announcing the mission Tito said, "When nations boldly follow opportunities, rooted in curiosity and guided by technological innovation, they grow, prosper, learn and lead. And this is what makes a nation great."

The crew will be made up of just one man and one woman flying as private citizens, passing within 100 miles of the red plants surface before returning to the Earth.

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