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This Is How Dennis Tito Plans To Send People to Mars | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference

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The core premise of this initial mission concept is to use an upgraded SpaceX Dragon capsule as the habitable volume for the entire mission. This spacecraft would be launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy and follows an optimized free-return trajectory to Mars and back. As outlined in the paper, this conceptual mission would depart Earth on 5 Jan 2018, reach Mars on 20 August 2018, and return to Earth on 21 May 2019. Source: Tito et al.The closest that the spacecraft would get to Mars would be ~100 km - and the crew would only spend 10 hours within that distance of the planet - with closest approach on the night side. Not too different than the first human mission to the Moon when all things are taken into account

So he's working with SpaceX / Elon Musk on this?

Is it me or is 2018 really, really soon?

Less than fifty years after the first moonshot...

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