Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Inspiration Mars: A Most Audacious (But Perhaps Doable) Venture

Image: Inspiration Mars Foundation

In the last year or so, announcements of audacious space ventures by private business ventures and non-profit foundations have almost become common. However, today's announcement by space tourism pioneer Dennis Tito of the Inspiration Mars Foundation and its goal of sending an American man and woman (likely a married couple) on a nearly year-and-a-half mission to fly by Mars and return to Earth in 2018 may be the most breath-taking venture yet announced.

Using existing or nearly ready capabilities enables Inspiration Mars to target the exceptionally favorable Mars launch window that will open in January 2018. The simple "free return" fly-by mission trajectory is a major reason this audacious plan may just be doable in five years.

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