The world's first commercial space traveler, Dennis Tito, is today launching "Inspiration Mars," a space tourism project which involves a 501-day flight for two astronauts to do a "flyby" past Mars, then loop back to Earth. The multimillionaire's Mars project would "set plenty of precedents on the final frontier," writes NBC's science editor Alan Boyle, the most intriguing of which may be "the astronauts that are to be sent: one man and one woman, preferably a married couple beyond childbearing years. We're talking about sex in space, folks."
A live web video press conference is under way with Dennis Tito, hosted by Miles O'Brien (whom I told I'd happily take the trip with!). Tito, who is 72, won't be taking the trip.
Dan Vergano at USA Today
The trip would rely on planned Falcon Heavy rockets under development by Elon Musk's SpaceX corporation, which will be even larger than the heaviest current U.S. rockets. Falcon Heavy launches could deliver 1,600 pounds of cargo to Mars at a cost of around $128 million (providing about 350 square feet of room for that cargo), according to a 2012 analysis by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. SpaceX last year announced its first commercial contract and Defense Department contract for the rocket, intended for launch this year or next.
"SpaceX does not have a relationship with the Inspiration Mars Foundation," says SpaceX spokeswoman Christina Ra. "However, SpaceX is always open to providing a full spectrum of launch services to interested customers."
Any of you Boing Boing readers up for going? I'm guessing the reason gay couples aren't invited has to do with wanting to observe the differing effects on male and female subjects.
More coverage: Guardian, Space.com, Wired, WSJ.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]