Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Millionaire wants to send humans to Mars (and back) in 2018

Posted in Science on 22nd Feb, 2013 10:30 PM by AlexMuller

2018 is not going to be the year that humans land on Mars. But, if millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito has his way, it could be the first year that humans visit Mars.


Tito has formed a group called the Inspiration Mars Foundation, which is going to try to swing two people around Mars without stopping and then bring them back to Earth on a mission lasting 501 days.


From the press release:


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.


Well, that sounds great, but let's talk about the details. If we're going to try and do something like this, 2018 is the year to make it happen due to an aligment of Earth and Mars that won't occur again until 2031. There's no landing on the table: the astronauts will be on a free-return trajectory, making a half-orbit of Mars and using the planet's gravity to slingshot them back towards Earth. It's the same basic technique that got Apollo 13 safely back home. A trajectory like this is the safest way to do it, although it means that the Mars close encounter will be relatively brief, likely just a few hours out of a mission that will last hundreds of days.


To get there, the Inspiration Mars Foundation is planning on using a deep space version of the SpaceX Dragon capsule, launched on top of a Falcon Heavy rocket. We don't have a lot of details on the hardware yet, except that the plan is to use existing technologies to support a crew of two for the duration, which likely means the absolute bare minimum of life support. In a 10-cubic-meter space. For 500 days. No variety, essentially no privacy, and nothing to really do except for a day or two in the middle when the two people in the capsule will be the luckiest humans alive. The rest of the time, it's going to be hellish.


We should point out that it's 2013 now, and a January 2018 launch means that SpaceX is going to have to have its Falcon Heavy operational and have a deep-space capable Dragon capsule ready to go in less than five years. The Falcon Heavy is supposed to have its very first launch sometime this year, but its first commercial launch won't be until sometime after 2015 at the earliest. Meanwhile, the crewed version of the Dragon capsule won't launch until at least December 2015, and that's just for a capsule designed to get a crew up to the ISS and back, which is nowhere near the level of complexity required to keep two people alive for 500 days.

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-03-20
Creeatd the greatest articles, you have. Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2019-01-05 00:26:50
    China Lands Chang'e 4 on the Far Side of the more
    Posted in Science on 2018-12-31 00:24:45
    Support for Human Gene Editing to Fix Diseases in more
    Posted in Science on 2018-12-31 00:15:06
    Will Mimicking The Nervous System Advance more
    Posted in Science on 2018-12-26 15:04:48
    NASA Gives Us Sugar in Space to Confirm Building more
    Posted in Business on 2018-12-21 22:48:10
    US Air Force Funds SpaceX Starlink For $28.7 more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Even light drinking increases risk of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Researchers have discovered how to slow more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Human retinas grown in a dish explain how color vision more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    The smartphone app that can tell you’re depressed before more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Neural networks don’t understand what optical illusions more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me