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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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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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