Private Mars Mission in 2018

mars travellingYes, you read that correctly. An entrepreneur wants to charter a SpaceX rocket to launch two interplanetary buddies on the ultimate joyride: A mission to Mars. But the timeline is tight — as in 5 years time “tight.”This random piece of spaceflight news is brought to you by Dennis Tito, multimillionaire and founder of the non-profit Inspiration Mars Foundation. Tito also knows a thing or two about space — he was the world’s first space tourist who, in 2001, spent a little over a week living on board the International Space Station. He reportedly spent $20 million for his orbital trek.

And now, it seems, he has far loftier goals.

Tito will host a press conference on Feb. 27 detailing his “Mars-shot” plan. But what is known is that he intends to hire Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, to blast a spaceship beyond low-Earth orbit. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket — that is currently in development — should fit the bill quite nicely. According to a NewSpace Journal report based on an Inspiration Mars paper detailing the proposed mission, a modified SpaceX Dragon capsule will be the spaceship of choice.

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