Inspiration Mars Federation plans to fund historic trip
Dennis Tito is going to Mars. The unconventional America businessman announced at the National Press Club that his non-profit organization Inspiration Mars Foundation will fund a historic trip to the red planet 2018.
Tito told KTRH the he hopes to re-inspire the American can-do attitude that led to the Mercury and Apollo missions of the 1960’s, and hopes his ambitions will spur Congress to increase funding to NASA.
In 2001 Tito became the first-ever space-tourist when he paid about $20 million to be a civilian passenger aboard the International Space Station. He is an engineer who began his career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in southern California before turning, lucratively, to investment banking.
Tito won’t actually be aboard the spacecraft on the mars mission, but proposes that a man and a woman be representatives of the human race on this bold space exploration, preferably a married couple beyond child-bearing years. Tito plans for the couple to fly within 100 miles of Mars in a craft roughly half the size of an RV.
NASA is also working on a mission to send astronauts to Mars. Their new space capsule is called Orion, and the specially-built heavy-lift rocket is called the Space Launch System SLS).