Photo (cc) by Kevin M. Gill
If traveling to space is on your bucket list, billionaire space entrepreneur Dennis Tito may be able to fulfill your wishes.
In 2001, he became the first tourist to visit space, and now he has his eyes set on a private mission. “Tito’s Inspiration Mars Foundation is working on a goal to launch two astronauts on a flyby mission to Mars as early as 2018,” says “Power Players” on Yahoo News. The trip would take 500 days.
But there are a few criteria that you must meet to qualify. Taber MacCallum, the chief technology office for Inspiration Mars, told “Power Players”:
We need to properly represent humanity, so that’s a man and a woman. The crew also needs, for radiation reasons, to be older, in the mid-50s, and this better be a man and woman that have a lot of experience together, so preferably married but … it’s a really interesting message, though, in the end that it’s really cool to be an older couple.
A few health risks must be considered.NASA spokesman David Weaver told “Power Players” that “the proposed schedule is a significant challenge due to life support systems, space radiation response, habitats, and the human psychology of being in a small spacecraft for over 500 days.”
“Pragmatically, because cancer often takes a long time to develop, he and the other planners of the mission are thinking that an older couple won’t face as much risk from being subjected to radiation for an extended period in space or in Mars’ orbit,” says AARP.
To fund the trip, Tito was hoping to partner with NASA to raise $1 billion over four to five years. But that seems unlikely because a congressional committee rejected his proposal in November and NASA is willing to share only “technical and programmatic expertise,” “Power Players” says.
Would you be open to taking an extended vacation to Mars? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.