India has successfully launched a controversial space rocket which it hopes to use to reach Mars.
Mars has been identified as the "best bet" for human life when soaring temperatures on Earth make it inhabitable.
The Mars One venture has attracted more than 165,000 people around the world who are interested in going on a one-way trip to to the planet.
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.
Anu Ojha, Director National Space Academy Programme has said that although he is excited by the Mars mission he has more questions than answers after the announcement earlier.
He told ITV News, "This is an incredibly audacious plan - but we've had audacious plans in the past for human exploration towards 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.
The website for the mission added that, "method of crew selection and specific criteria to be announced at a later date."
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.
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.
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 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."
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 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."
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.
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.