First space tourist plans 'historic journey to Mars' in 2018
Washington: A nonprofit organisation led by Dennis Tito, the first ever space tourist, has announced its intention to launch a mission to Mars in 2018.
Called the Inspiration Mars Foundation, the organization is hosting a press conference next Wednesday at the National Press Club in which details of the plans for the trip will be revealed, CNN.com reported.
The proposed launch date is January 2018, and the venture is called "Mission for America."
Tito paid 20 million dollars to be the first paying guest of the International Space Station in 2001, making him the first private space traveller.
Now his organization is aiming to get to Mars and back in 501 days, according to a press release.
The press release doesn't explicitly state that the mission is manned, but it does say that the organization "is committed to accelerating America's human exploration of space as a critical catalyst for future growth, national prosperity, new knowledge and global leadership."
The official description of the mission states: This "Mission for America" will generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation.
But noting is revealed about where the money will come from, or how the potential space traveler(s) would survive the journey.