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Mars Mission: Tito Project Seeks Married Pair
A married couple could be sent to Mars in as little as five years' time as part of a private mission backed by the world's first space tourist.
The voyage would take the husband and wife astronauts as close as 100 miles from the surface of Mars, but would not actually land them on the Red Planet.
They will need to get along - the expedition would see them cooped up for 16 months in a cramped space capsule.
Inspiration Mars, a non-profit venture, aims to make the most of the close approach of the orbits of Mars and the Earth, which happens once in a generation.
US space agency Nasa will not be involved.
Instead, the project's backers - including US multimillionaire Dennis Tito - intend to use a private rocket and space capsule and some kind of habitat that might be inflatable.
The aim is to use a basic design that could take people to Mars for a fraction of what it would cost Nasa to do.
The crew members will have no lander to take them down to the planet and no space suits for any†space walks.
They will have minimal food, water and clothing, and their urine will be recycled into drinking water.
"This is not going to be an easy mission," explained chief technical officer and potential crew member Taber MacCallum.
The trip will get initial funding from Mr Tito, who in 2001 paid around $20m (£13m) to spend seven days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station.
Mr MacCallum would not say how much the overall Mars flight would cost, but outsiders put the price tag at more than $1bn (£660m).
He said the decision to send a married couple into space was both symbolic and practical, as they would need each other's emotional support on the long, cramped voyage.
Mr MacCallum was part of a team that lived for two years in Biosphere 2, a giant terrarium - or sealed environment - on Earth that was supposed to replicate a mission on another planet.
The mission timeline, which is set out in a technical paper, calls for a launch on January 5, 2018, a Mars fly-by on August 20, 2018, and a return to Earth on May 21, 2019.
Professor Scott Hubbard, Nasa's former Mars mission chief, said the paper was "long on inspiration, short on technical details", but what was in there was correct.
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what do you think?
16 months in a closed space? What happens if she becomes pregnant?
More to the point how she gonna keep it clean on the outside!!! ;O)
Well I suppose the baby would actually be a martian lol
How the hell are you going to get away from all that nagging, well thinking about it you could stick her in the air lock ;0)
Get your ass to mars! Just wait at least untill after the dust has settled from possible comet direct hit that might happen next october before going to the red planet.
16 months in a confined space with my missus! could either of us be charged with murder being as it would not be commited on this planet?
I'll do it. WANTED: Willing partner to accompany me on 16 month mission to Mars. Ideally must be a mute. Apply within. No timewasters.
Well my misses said she wanted to get away from it all.mmmmm 16 months????? With misses?????? Think id rather take the dog.
Booking a one way ticket for my beloved as we speak
.... and you fellas are terrible ha ha ha!!!!!!
Crumbs hope they don't let her take control, bad enough with them behind the wheel and mirror doing the makeup. Probably get lost to and it will end up being the husbands fault to nag nag nag!!!!
Oooh, oooh, I'm married. My wife will go. She just doesn't know it yet!
I used to work with a guy who was known as 'The Spaceman' Every day at 12.30 he would announce to the rest of us that he was off to Ma's for his dinner!!!
ha ha nice one Andrew :)