Friday, April 19, 2013

How's that private Mars mission going?

In spite of the fact that they aren't even ready to start considering candidates yet, many people have applied to be the passengers on Dennis Tito's quick-run-to-Mars mission.

The goal of the mission is to inspire the public — and Congress — to recommit to long-distance space travel, Tito said at the National Space Symposium.

To prove that humans can explore deep space, Tito and his team are planning a stripped-down, austere mission: The spacecraft will pass within 100 miles (161 km) of Mars' surface, but won't enter orbit or touchdown, because that would require additional propulsion systems.

"It's like a boomerang," Tito said. "You throw it out there and it comes right back in 501 days."

(I previously noted how this could be privately financed, big-time).

It's interesting that so many people are willing to take a ride on what is literally a long shot.  But heck, if I didn't have a family, I'd probably put in an application too.

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