It is not your average weekend away, but for one adventurous couple the Red Planet could be their dream destination. A non-profit foundation is looking for a married couple for its mission to Mars. Blast off won’t be until 2018 when the first launch window opens.
The project will cost upwards of one billion dollars all of which will come from the private sector led by millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito.
“We have funding to keep this going for two years, out of my pocket, but anyway, we should be able to raise the funds to complete the mission. This is a challenging but attainable goal for advancing human experience and knowledge. Now is the time.”
Ten years ago Dennis Tito became the first space tourist on the international space station, paying 20 million for the privilege but the mission to Mars will be a little less glamorous. The privately-funded expedition will not have to stick to NASA guidelines on air and water quality.
Jayne Poynter, President of the Paragon Space development corporation described it as being like a “really long road trip” in a capsule measuring 600 cubic feet. The trip would last about a year and a half, with no touchdown on the Red Planet. The capsule would be propelled around Mars before beginning its journey back to earth.
It is a journey that could test the most solid of marriages. The crew would have minimal food and clothing and urine will be recycled into drinking water
And if the worst happens, there is no turning back.