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Artist’s rendering of a manned Mars mission. Credit: NASA

Plan announced for manned mission to Mars in 2018

Artist’s rendering of a manned Mars mission. Credit: NASA
Artist’s rendering of a manned Mars mission. Credit: NASA

It has just been announced that the world’s first space tourist, Dennis Tito, is leading a private effort to send a manned space flight to Mars in January 2018. A Media Advisory titled “The Planets are Aligning for a Once-in-a-Generation Space Journey” claims that a rare alignment of the planets will be occurring that makes possible a manned mission to travel to Mars and back in 501 days. In a Media Advisory he announced the creation of the “Inspiration Mars Foundation”, a non-profit foundation that would lead the Mars mission. The Foundation, which Tito chairs, will give more details about the manned Mars mission in a February 27 Press conference at the National Press Club. Three respected space scientists are scheduled to discuss the proposed mission. Tito’s announcement follows an earlier announcement by SpaceX to establish a colony on Mars. Private efforts to create manned Mars missions, appear to be eclipsing official public efforts by NASA and other space agencies to send humans to Mars – but are they?

According to the February 20 Media Advisory issued by the Griffin Communication Group:

The Inspiration Mars Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization led by American space traveler and entrepreneur Dennis Tito, invites you to attend a press conference detailing its plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018.

Tito achieved global fame when he paid $20 million to hitch a ride on a Russian Soyuz Space vehicle to the International Space Station in 2001. Tito now wants to contribute the growth of the American space industry at a time when NASA is facing budget cuts and the reduction of manned missions:

This “Mission for America” will generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation.

Tito’s efforts follows a presentation by SpaceX founder Elon Musk in November 2012, where he announced plans to establish a colony of 80,000 on Mars. Taking a trip to Mars, if Musk has his way, would cost as little as $500,000. Musk revealed his long term plans in a November 16 presentation at the Royal Aeronautical Society. In an interview, Musk revealed that establishing a Martian colony was his ultimate objective, and “it always has been.” Given his recent space accomplishments, successfully sending an unmanned space vehicle to the International Space Station and back – Musk’s Mars vision is no idle pipedream. What of Dennis Tito? We will have to wait to see the February 27 Press Conference to learn more specifics.

Tito and Musk seem to be filling a hiatus in manned space missions to the moon and planets given cut backs in NASA funding. But are they really? Have official US manned space flights to other planetary bodies come to an end due to a stagnant U.S. economy? Not so according to the memoirs of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

In President Reagan’s Diary, the entry for Tuesday, June 11, 1985 (page 334) reads:

Lunch with 5 top space scientist. It was fascinating. Space truly is the last frontier and some of the developments there in astronomy etc. are like science fiction, except they are real. I learned that our shuttle capacity is such that we could orbit 300 people.

Reagan’s comment was very revealing since the recently retired Space Shuttle held a maximum of eight people and only five were built for space flight. Even if all five took off fully loaded it would be impossible to place and maintain 300 astronauts in orbit. It couldn’t be any clearer. President Reagan was revealing the existence of a highly classified space program that could accommodate hundreds of astronauts in orbit. Military and corporate whistleblowers that have come forward to reveal what they know of classified antigravity space vehicles, would agree with Reagan. Hidden within one of the nine unified combatant commands of the U.S. military, as British hacker Gary McKinnon discovered back in 2002, is a highly classified fleet of ships that operate in deep space. The classified name of this secret space fleet is alleged to have been “Solar Warden”. The trip to Mars and back by the not so secret U.S. space fleet can be expected to be far less than the 501 days Tito plans for his 2018 space venture.

© Copyright 2013. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

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Further Reading


Denis Tito, Mars, NASA