First manned Mars mission draws flood of applicants
New York: Applications are already pouring in for the ambitious Mars mission that aims to send an adventurous duo — a man and a woman — on a 501-day-long flyby around the red planet in January 2018. Millionaire Dennis Tito, who became the first space tourist in 2001, had unveiled the Inspiration Mars' "Mission for America" in February this year. Applications are now rolling in from enthusiasts, despite the fact that the selected couple may be crammed into a space the size of a recreational vehicle for more than a year, breathing recycled air, subsisting on dehydrated food and drinking their purified urine, 'LiveScience' reported.
"We've already had a ton of applications," said Jane Poynter, president of the Paragon Space Development Corp, which has partnered with Inspiration Mars Foundation for the mission. "Some of them are kind of interesting, but please don't send your applications just yet. We're not announcing that we're taking applications!" Poynter said. Speaking at the National Space Symposium in Colorado, members of the foundation described the challenges inherent in launching two humans on a 501-day flyby journey to the red planet and back in January 2018, but remained optimistic that those challenges aren't insurmountable.
"So far, we haven't come up with any show-stoppers, so that's exciting," Poynter said. Tito unveiled the plan to launch the first manned mission to Mars in 2018, a voyage that could include an adventurous married crew. The project aims not to land people on the surface of the red planet, but to take advantage of a rare planetary alignment that would allow a relatively easy, quick flyby around the Mars. Tito hopes to choose a space capsule and rocket from among those already on the market, and modify them to carry two people to Mars and back in 501 days.