Welp, It's About Time. Manned Mars Mission by 2018!

Inspiration Mars Foundation is planning a manned flyby mission to Mars for a target launch date of January 5, 2018. The announcement was made today.

A fast, free-return mission is similar in function to the Apollo 8 mission. The idea is to send two private U.S. citizens (probably a married couple, actually) on a 501-day mission to flyby the Martian surface by 100 miles and then return safely to Earth.

I like the patriotic nature of this mission, billed as "A Mission for America." I know it isn't very "politically correct" considering the fact that idealistically access to space is something that all nations should aspire towards and the collaboration between nations is a virtue extolled by Star Trek and other popular ideals, but I don't care. I still like America best.

I completely agree that now is as good a time as any to visit the red planet. It's been technologically possible to achieve this mission ever since the technology of Apollo. But we've just been waiting for someone to take initiative. That initiative came from Inspiration Mars.

Check out this factoid sheet on the preliminary mission specs: http://www.inspirationmars.org/Inspiration%20Mars%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

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