February 21st, 2013
03:21 PM ET

Human mission to Mars may be planned for 2018

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Will the Mars rover Curiosity catch a glimpse of a manned spaceship in this decade? That could be even more exciting than the gray powder it found by drilling.

A nonprofit organization called the Inspiration Mars Foundation is hosting a press conference next week in which plans for a trip to Mars and back will be revealed. The proposed launch date is January 2018, and the venture is called "Mission for America."

The press release doesn't explicitly state that the mission is manned, but it does say that the organization "is committed to accelerating America's human exploration of space as a critical catalyst for future growth, national prosperity, new knowledge and global leadership."

The leader of this effort is millionaire Dennis Tito, who's no stranger to space travel. He spent $20 million to jaunt up to the International Space Station in 2001, making him the first private space traveler.

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Filed under: In Space • Mars

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