February 27th, 2013
02:50 PM ET

Group aims to send 2 humans on Mars mission in 2018

Follow @CNNLightYears on Twitter for more space and science updates.

By John Zarrella, CNN

If newly unveiled plans pan out, a man and a woman may represent humanity on one journey that has never been attempted before: a mission to Mars.

“It’s incredibly feasible. It’s not crazy talk," Taber MacCallum, CEO of Paragon Space Development Corp., told CNN.

MacCallum and millionaire Dennis Tito announced their plans Wednesday to send a couple of earthlings on a 501-day trip in a spacecraft that would fly by the red planet. The proposal was unveiled at the National Press Club in Washington.

The mission would lift off in 2018, they said. It would not involve landing on Mars, making the proposed journey infinitely easier than putting people on the planet's surface, which NASA wants to do later this century. But the spacecraft would pass within 100 miles of the planet.

Tito has founded the Inspiration Mars Foundation, a nonprofit organization spearheading this effort. No stranger to space, the one-time NASA engineer became in 2001 the first space tourist flying on a Russian rocket to the International Space Station.

The public-private initiative could, according to MacCallum, use an existing rocket and capsule.

“If you take existing chemistry and technology and add some improved technologies," MacCallum told CNN, "you can get a mission together.” A life support system also would have to be developed.

The group is not asking NASA for money, he said.

“This is a philanthropic effort to be done for America,” MacCallum said. It could be accomplished for under $1 billion, he said, a figure that’s cheap compared with the tens of billions of dollars a NASA landing on Mars would cost.

At Wednesday's press conference, the panel mentioned selling media rights and finding sponsorship as well as other forms of fund-raising. It was noted that a 6-year-old boy already made a contribution, sending in $10 and calling this mission "my Apollo."

Despite MacCallum’s optimism, pulling off such a feat within five years is no small task.

Besides life support for the crew, one of the biggest challenges would be the return into the Earth's atmosphere. Heat shielding for a high speed re-entry hasn’t been tested. NASA isn’t even testing its new system on the Orion spacecraft until next year at the earliest. Orion is in development to take astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars.

And there’s also concern about radiation exposure. The man and woman whom MacCallum and Tito want to send would likely be a married couple. Because of the radiation risk, MacCallum said, they’d be older and “out of the childbearing years.”

Dr. Jonathan Clark, a former NASA flight surgeon and chief medical officer of Inspiration Mars
Foundation, said the crew should be selected six months to a year before the mission to allow time for a full health screening. And the mission planners will have to prepare for the possibility of a crew member perishing.

"If we wanted a guarantee, we wouldn't be doing this," he said.

Water and oxygen will be recycled in flight, so the crew will be drinking and breathing the same resources over and over throughout the journey, Inspiration Mars representatives said.

"No two people will have ever been more alone than the crew of this mission," Miles O'Brien, press conference moderator and former CNN correspondent, said at the event.

The year for the mission was chosen because Mars then will be 36 million miles away, about as close as it ever gets to Earth.

But consider: The humans who have traveled the farthest from Earth were the Apollo astronauts nearly a quarter-million miles to the moon. Next to the Mars journey, that’s like a walk around the block.

Still, Tito said Wednesday, "This is a challenging but attainable goal for advancing human ... knowledge. Now is the time."

More: What we've done on Mars, and what's next

CNN's Sophia Dengo contributed to this report.

Post by:
Filed under: Mars • News • the Moon
soundoff (842 Responses)
  1. Clint

    My wife and I are both 46. In 2018 that would make us 51. Both very fit and 51 is still a very competent age. Both children already grown and on their own. Most likely this is a suicide mission and my wife and I have both discussed not wanting to ever be a pair of old, infirm invalids. Worst case: Go out with style while giving back to the world. Best case: make it home alive. Its easy to put decades of movies, shows, music and games on iPads. That along with a camera and a lead-lined box for both to protect from radiation and we're good.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Jeff

      If it's not NASA doing this mission...but a bunch of people that own a company and thinks it would be a cool idea to send someone to Mars...

      You can pretty much guarantee you will be lucky to make it there..cause you definitely won't make it back.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Barbara Moore

        You are clearly clueless about the private sector space industry business. NASA does not corner the market on the process.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • Mark

        Don't underestimate the power of capitalism. So far, NASA has blown up more people then SpaceX. I'd put my money, or in this case my life, in the hands of the private sector over the government any day.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Jeff

        Barbara Moore:

        I guarantee you private companies will NOT make it work.

        Bookmark it.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • Petercha

        Amen, Mark.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
      • Michael Horoda

        Ditto to the negativity in the comment. If this guy and his wife want to do this for humanity, then graciously accept the offer. These people obviously are mature, thinking individuals. If they are successful then they will have gone where no man, woman or married couple has gone before. And believe me, if they wrote a book about handling marriage issues after their successful return, I would buy it because they would really know what they are talking about. Contrast that to the self-annointedrelationship experts from Mars and Venus. ;)

        February 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • Joe Linton

        Look up Bigelow aerospace, Genesis II . I guarantee you that private companies will make it work.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        Mark, I agree that it would be wrong to underestimate where private industry can get us. But in fairness to both NASA and SpaceX, the latter hasn't actually sent anyone to space yet. I am pretty confident they will be successful when they do, but until then, lets not slam NASA for occasionally failing at something that the private sector has yet to accomplish (putting someone into orbit).

        February 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • shan22044

        @Mark,

        Ummm, SpaceX has had how many launches? And has launched exactly how many people?
        How can you compare the incident records of NASA and SpaceX like that, with a straight face?
        That's like a horse with a 100% win record with one race under its belt.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • OldJoe

        501-days locked up with my wife?

        February 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • JH

        > So far, NASA has blown up more people then SpaceX

        Ah yes, private enterprise is so much safer. Alaska Airlines Flight 261? Never underestimate the power of private enterprise to cut corners to keep a few more bucks in their pocket. After all, there's an acceptable rate of loss that can still be kept profitable.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • gupsphoo

        Mark : Well of course you won't crash your car if you haven't driven at all.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
      • Todd

        They should try a Moon landing first. Once that is a reality for the first time, they can go to Mars or something.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
      • rob0rah

        I agree with Old Joe....locked up with your ole lady for that long.......yikes!

        February 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • Jefferson Tester

        When we landed on the moon AND RETURNED SAFELY, we were using mostly elbow grease and slide rules. We currently have more computing power in a cheap cell phone than we did in the entirety of NASA at that point. This is very possible, but we have to have faith in our ability to do so, like we did in the sixties. If this works it will be a testament to the possibilities inherent to the capitalist mindset.

        February 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • Freeworld81

        I would trust that a private company will get this done before any government agency. The government lacks freedom; they are controlled by policies and a bunch of red tape. Private companies will invest the necessary funds for the research and advanced technology to make this happen. We have the technology already!

        For example: Look at Apple and Samsung!!! The technology for these new smartphones have been out for years, but companies release this technology in stages to keep the interest of the customer on a string.

        February 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
      • Will

        "Don't underestimate the free market"

        Is that the same free market that spent 50 years putting cars on the road that were designed to fall apart with 80,000 miles on the odometer? Give me a break.

        February 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
      • John

        @Mark: you're a typical i d i o t conservative shill, comparing fifty years of successful manned space progress, where NASA has sent HUNDREDS of astronauts safely into space and back all the while gaining all sorts of scientific and engineering advances... with a rich guy's money-making effort to send other rich tourists into suborbital flight. By the way, SpaceX has not sent a single human being into actual space, so of course there have been no fatalities, you m o r o n.

        February 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
      • LL

        Who will love on the grand kids....their creepy uncle Earnie that the spouse's people have always been worried about, but just felt it wasn't their place to rock the boat?

        Speaking of boats...Just how much food can anybody pack into one of those trash cans they send up into space?

        February 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • RG33

        I think we should all sit around home watching TV until we we grow too old and fat to do anything but die. Why get out in the world (or space), when that might be dangerous and scary?

        Who needs another Orville & Wilbur or Henry Ford or Capt Cook or Marco Polo or Robert Scott or even Evil Knievel? Sure its a stunt, but so is climbing Mt. Everest, yet hundreds spend $$$$ to try their skill. What do you think those Nascar drivers are doing? It an't for the money. I just wish I was about 1yr old, because in another 50, there will be all kinds of cool space adventures to do.

        February 27, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
      • do the math

        Saying NASA has killed more people than SpaceX is oversimplifying this to an extreme degree. If you calculated the number of deaths NASA has experienced against the number of man/woman-mission-hours, it would be a tiny, tiny number. Private space flight and/or operations has probably only operated 1/10 of 1% as much as NASA has. Sure, private sector has a 0 for death rate right now, but even 1 private-sector space fatality in the next 5 years would raise the private sector death rate to a substantially higher rate than that of NASA.

        Your statement is fundamentally as solid as saying the NYPD has killed more police officers than my hometown's police force, who has a force of 5 officers. My hometown has never lost a single officer EVER, but if you totaled up every man-hour worked by that department in it's entire 50 year history, it would be less than the NYPD works in a few weeks.

        February 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • manned?

        Keep the bean counters away from the engineers and it should be fine.

        February 28, 2013 at 12:41 am |
      • yourkiddingme

        Barbara Moore

        You are clearly clueless about the private sector space industry business. NASA does not corner the market on the process.

        HAS SPACE-X PUT PEOPLE INTO SPACE YET?! NO! They are slated for their first in 2015. Who the **** is clueless?!

        February 28, 2013 at 2:08 am |
      • carlc

        So much certainty from Jeff, and based on what?

        February 28, 2013 at 11:23 am |
      • Thom Burke

        I'm going to bet there will be every angle of marketing used for any data, images or videos that come out of it too. Man's first Mission to Mars, on Pay-Per-View.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • MarylandWarren

        Actually Jeff, you should take a look at the website. This in partnership with NASA. Many of the folks associated with the project have quite a bit of experience with the whole space-faring thing. I'd say they have a decent chance of doing it if the funding is there.....

        March 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Brian

      Good luck, hope you can do it!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • lancedal

      Worst case: you returned to earth and slowly died here due to cancer
      Best case: you died in space.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Jim

      You are looking at this all wrong. 501 days in close quarters with your wife? Well, one of you might return.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
      • RockInD

        Well, they did say they had to account for the possibility of a crew member perishing.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • wildman

      took the words right out of my mouth only we're ten years older...

      February 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Roni Clark

      Can we stop at Pluto ? And my cat would love this trip as well

      February 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Sherry Nudge

        Surely you can't be serious.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Twons

      Well, if they are offering frequent flier miles for each of us, on 80 million miles at 1.2 cents per mile, that makes it just under $1mil each. We would consider it.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • How about one way for a death row inmate

      Instead of spending the money to bring them back send them one way and find someone we wont worry about dying alone in the abyss. That way we can go even farther, send them past Mars and keep them going into outer space. Lets see how far we can get them. Make it a new space race, who can send there deathrow inmates the farthest into space!

      February 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • One Shot at the Stars

      That's the spirit... I'd add in some form of exersise equipment. Otherwise you will both end up being rather well rounded upon your return.

      Take some bubble gum to patch any holes in the outer shell due to some "space dust".

      Now, THAT's inginuity!

      Best of luck to you.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • jon

      You will for sure die. The human body cannot tolerate weightlessness for 501 days

      February 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • whirly

        Site your facts. Russians have had people in space for well over a year. Looks like 438 days is the record. I don't think another 63 would put anyone over the edge.

        February 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • nisroc00

      You realize they are probably looking for human lab rats since i doubt they wish to use chimps again.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Bob Dowlen

      I volunteer. I'm 70 and will accept any younger woman.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Rescue7

      Dude, just a hunch... They are looking for pilots.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • mason

      If the wife murders the husband do US laws even apply to space? The sling shot mission is quite feasible, but the re-entry very iffffy.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • Twons

        Yup, unless there's some other recognized authority out there international law would have the accused returned to the proper authorities at the point of origin.

        February 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Clint's Wife

      Honey, stop posting. We're not going anywhere.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Raj

      Can I volunteer to send my in-laws instead?
      I will even pay 1000 dollars to the program if they want to pre-pone the launch to 2016........a small step for mankind, a giant leap for me....

      February 28, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • BlahBlahBlogBlog

      i am
      sure
      they re
      going
      to pick
      a
      white couple

      WHAT ELSE IS NEW ?

      February 28, 2013 at 5:40 am |
      • thisismyname

        Well white people are the craziest...

        March 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Elvis

      The question is WHY ???

      There is nothing there, nothing, the rovers are telling us everything anyway.
      Unless we are going to colonize it fine. but what a waist.
      Just my opinion of course.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • Estubon

        If you were the real Elvis you could spell WASTE.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Some Chick

      Novel idea: How about doing good for our man kind here on earth ? Alot of us Americans wonder each morning how we
      will feed our families today. Struggle for food, housing, medicine, everything.
      Volunteer. Help someone less fortunate than you are. Give. It wont make you famous or put you in the news. This last two or three decades are about me me me. It breaks my heart to tell my son , no we dont have anything to eat. I know many others in this Country go through the same thing.
      Give of yourself, your time, your money, your heart. No , you wont get famous, but you will make a difference.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Anthony

      Bring "Mile High Club" to a whole new level.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Raxxillion

      Good packing list, but iPads don't last that long. Just saying.

      March 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  2. Guy

    The volunteer’s name? Valentine Michael Smith

    February 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • TBoehm30

      That would be the name of the child left behind.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Jon

        I thought there was no child left behind.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jim Dunne

      Grok. Thou art God. :)

      February 27, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • PaxLoki

      a fellow stranger

      February 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  3. raul

    this would be like driving to disney .. only to see the ticket booths ? the point being? if u want to do a fly by of a planet landing would be the only reason. thats what we have satellites for .. lol.. waste of resources..

    February 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • cage

      Waste of resources? You don't see the value in developing and proving long-term space flight life support systems? Both the USSR and the USA sent people around the moon before anyone sent someone to the moon. These things take immense technological advances, which means they take time and baby steps to prove out what the engineers think will work.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • JohnAC

        Only the US sent men to/around the moon. Soviets had plans, but US beat them to the punch.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • Yashirov

        For the record, the USSR never landed people on, nor put them in orbit around, the moon.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • JZG

        The Soviet moon rocket blew up on liftoff.

        February 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • ztom

      That happened to Chevy Chase in Vacation. He still go into Wally World.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Scott B

      There are a lot of challenges. Best not to try to solve them all at once. Look at the NASA missions leading to Apollo. The whole purpose behind the Mercury, Gemini, and early Apollo missions were to solve the problems needed to get to the Moon and back safely.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Chip Douglas

      Can we send Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. They're still married.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
      • Daniel

        Talk about an ass out of this world

        February 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Mark

      Perhaps you ought to just go to Disney and leave the vision and engineering to those more capable. You walk before you can run. It is an intermediary step to putting people on Mars – if you can't see the obvious logic then I don't know what to suggest.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Jose

      Private money, moron. I don't they care about spending that money on what they want

      February 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • MArvin

      Apollo missions to the moon:
      Only by the sixth manned Apollo mission did they actually land on the moon. All the previous ones were testing, training and equipment development.
      .
      Sending a manned mission to flyby Mars will gather huge data regarding human and technological requirements for the later landing missions.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:02 am |
  4. OTR

    I'd sign up in a heartbeat.

    My wife, not so much.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • longtooth

      I'd sign my wife up in a heartbeat. She can take her sister.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • ray walston

        You could accomplish the same thing for 20k to a divorce lawyer and save yourself a billion.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • fool

        Can i send my mother in law with them?

        February 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • BUHAHAHA

        BUAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAH

        February 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • james

        Do you think they might take my exwife too??

        February 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • Spacejunkie

        LMAO!!!!!

        February 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • nativecolorado

      Ditto here. Fortunately I have a couple of years to work on her enthusiasm!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • shelterpoochgal

      I was thinking that it's entirely unlikely that both individuals would return alive as one of them will surely murder the other. Maybe they should pony-up and get a third crew member, such as a marriage counselor.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • Tyrannosapiens

        A hot-looking female counselor?

        February 28, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Moakie

      I have already made plans to go. I have assembled 2 droids, Huey and Dewey, and the 3 of us will go to Mars. The attached domed enclosures will have representative plant-life from all corners of the Earth. We will tend and water them, staying very busy, and everything should be self-sustaning. I will be able to perform any repairs on the droids, and they in turn will be able to operate on me in an emergency.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:38 am |
      • vally forge

        great movie silent running!

        February 28, 2013 at 2:34 am |
  5. Travis Krumenacker

    Please send Snooki and Jionni!!!

    February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • EM650

      That or some of the Kardashians and their spouses...

      February 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • DP44022

        They'd be wanting a divorce before they left Earth's atmosphere...

        February 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  6. Clown

    How about the CEO of Paragon and his wife make the trip since it's their idea, oh wait they probably aren't that stupid.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  7. Journey

    Send the Obama's...tomorrow.

    Rubio / Ryan 2016

    February 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • bwhitten

      O Christ it has started already: Clowns putting more clowns for 2016.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • the other50%

        The clowns are already in. Remember there's another 50% that aren't stupid.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • burbanktj

      well with rubio and ryan running together, at least they would be able to change each other's diapers...

      February 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • pjones006

      If you are planning for Rubio / Ryan winning an election, maybe they should be on that flight.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Hike Muckabee

      No, you mouthbreather. You're welcome to catch any passing asteroid with your teeth, though.

      The couple that is chosen is not allowed to identify as religious in any way, since we don't want to spread that cancer between planets.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • shelterpoochgal

        Awww. You didn't read the book or watch the movie "Contact", did you? The irony of it is, they would only send a theist on the mission because they wanted that person to be representative of the human population. The rub is, many scientist or people who are interested in science ARE theists, they just believe in science as well. Science and God don't have to be mutually exclusive.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Dan

        shelterpoochgal,

        Actually they're more typically deists than theists.

        February 28, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  8. Lizrod

    A man and a wife. That sound pretty h0m0ph0bic to me.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • EM650

      hypersensitive much? Nowhere do they mention LGB. So why do you need to bring it into a perfect fine conversation?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • Lizrod

        To show big0try is alive and well. Why does it need to be a heter0 couple?

        February 27, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Bob

      I agree completely. Why is it written that it automatically has to be a man and woman, and a married couple to boot? Did anyone realize how rude this was, essentially treating everyone else as if they're insignificant and unworthy?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • cage

        There are very good scientific reasons to include a man and woman. First, the body of each gender is different. Sending 1 of each would allow for more opportunity to test and improve the life support systems for future trips. Second, a husband and wife so that they are familiar and comfortable with at least 1 aspect of the journey (this isn't necessary, but it's not unreasonable to look for any advantage for the travelers).

        February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        Did you ever think that they might want the crew to be the first male and female to fly to Mars? How much more convenient would it be if it were a married couple as they would be spending over year together absolutely alone.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • TheLaw

        Sounds like you have something against straight people.

        Sounds like hate to me, bob.

        Ever consider that maybe they want one of each gender to also pull studies of how each person may be effected by such a trip?

        Maybe they just considered it would be best to have a couple so they can tolerate each other.

        Cant do the first option if you're gay.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Tim R.

        Bob, it's humanoids like you and EM650 that ARE insignificant and unworthy. You go against everything Holy and God's teachings. God made Adam for Eve, not Steve.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • EM650

        Tim R. What are you talking about? DId you even read my comment?

        Oh.. and God did create Steve as we well as everything else...

        February 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
      • Hike Muckabee

        Shut your pie hole, Tim. And shove your racist, homophobe 'god'.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Lizrod

        @Elizabeth "Did you ever think that they might want the crew to be the first male and female to fly to Mars?" Sound like pure big0try to me.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • Mark

        As to whether they should or shouldn't choose hetero couple or for that matter a married couple, the argument is entirely moot anyway. To simplify – its their ship their cash their choice – they don't have to pander to anyone.

        February 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
      • Bob

        @All I certainly have no problem with selecting people for validly scientific and practical reasons; those are certainly reasonable things to do in the name of advancing science. But I didn't get from reading the article that this was the primary motivation for selecting a married man and woman. It came across (maybe it's just the way the article was written) that someone wanted to send a married man and woman to make some kind of sociological statement; this is where my concern was coming from. Hope that helps clarify.

        February 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Dr. Chris Gates

      They really should send 2 gay guys. They are already masters of "docking" and they will look fabulous in their spacesuits. Just don't be upset when the flag they plant on the surface is a rainbow.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Hugh Rection

        That's the funniest thing I have read today. Their keisters look fab in silver

        February 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • the other50%

      Sounds HeterOphObic to me. Selfish sensitive cr@p is killing this country. Only on CNN....

      February 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • FMH

      Considering the close quarters and length of trip, they should plan for three – man, wife, and divorce lawyer.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • acasilaco

      I think the idea is to send a man and a woman so that the effects of the journey can be studied on both a male and female subject. Because of the nature of the trip, it makes sense to send two individuals who are in a long-term personal relationship. I'm sure that's all there is to the plan to send a married man and woman – nothing sinister.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • shelterpoochgal

      Very good point.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Tyler

      Um...I know the overly-progressive types sometimes like to think that men and women are the same. But I don't think there's any question that 500 days of space travel MAY affect each gender differently. Sending two men or two women seems like it would be a waste.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • TickedinNY

      Oh gawd, go cry yourself a river. Pathetic!

      February 28, 2013 at 5:11 am |
  9. palintwit

    Send Obama and Michelle, good riddance.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Joe

      ...or you!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • bwhitten

      I vote we send just you. With no rocket. THAT would be a good riddance.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • palintwit

        U seem mad.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Joe

      Go post your political crap at "Crappygoverments blog. You two seem made for each other!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Herb Schwartz

      Thats a good idea. All the deadbeats and liberals can go along. They can start their own colony there and never come back!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • burbanktj

        or would could scrape up all you bigots; however, since your generation will die off anyways then why would we waste a perfectly good rocket...

        February 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • bxgrrl

        Nooooo, send all the hypocritical Repugnants with all their girlfriends and boytoys. That'll clean the House (and Senate) and a lot of Governorships, and get the traitors out of the way.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • shelterpoochgal

      You and Palin.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  10. Conrad Shull

    The real history of man started when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Jon

      That doesn't make any sense.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • raul

        meanign that the fact that we set a foot print on another planet began our history into outerspace.. if all life on earth died where else could u find mans residual other than satelites and the moon..

        February 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • Elephant

        Raul – if you can't write something intelligent, keep your thoughts to yourself, asshat.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  11. davecu

    One of these days, Alice! Bang! To the moon (mars)!

    February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • davecu

      Great minds ...........

      February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Roger

      I was just thinking of the fun if one of them flips out a couple of weeks into the flight!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • shelterpoochgal

        Yep. But it probably won't take weeks. Couple of hours in a tiny capsule together. "Did you remember to turn off the oven?" "Me? I wasn't the one reheating the pizza, why should I turn it off?" "You were the one that ate most of it, you freakin' pig" "You know I missed lunch AND you were the one in the kitchen.." But I digress...

        February 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  12. Conrad Shull

    Pow Zoom, Alice, one of these days you're going to Mars.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  13. Kyle

    The Lesbian couple will be good because they will be lickady split... but the gay couple will be better because they will pack their crap the night before.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • One Way Only

      I see grade school got out early...and they are now online.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • palintwit

        Because obviously Kyle is in Grade School. Try to think up some new stuff, that line is getting old.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • shelterpoochgal

      Save it for the bus to school.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  14. oneSTARman

    I would suggest Young Newlyweds – I remember when I was first married – We rarely left our somewhat cramped sleeping chamber and did not seem to mind

    February 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • ray1950

      I would suggest you look at the article again and note where it says the desired couple would be an older couple, safely past the age of childbearing.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • SilentBoy741

      I would seriously suggest just the opposite - most young couples can't even get a marriage to last for 501 days, let alone a space flight. You'd need a couple that have already lasted 15 or 20 years; those are the people who know who to spend a year and a half packed into a phone-booth sized space with one another, without someone getting killed or going crazy.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  15. Joe M

    Where do I sign up????

    February 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  16. One Way Only

    Why not send someone one-way only knowing they won't come back? People historically have done that many times...or at least went knowing chances were remote, at best. They could land and live out life as long as they wanted....maybe a resupply once in awhile...would be very inexpensive compared to return trip. The person would know they're gonna die, but they also know their legacy will live far beyond them. Could even find a terminally ill person.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • lolita whoohaa

      send the 3 stooges – they already been there – with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd – cause this is just as real!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • tmk

      As crazy as it sounds at first, I think this idea has a lot of merit - not with a terminally ill person. I am guessing there would be thousands of would-be astronauts who would very happily sign up for a one way mission, given the scientific significance involved. I wonder, though, whether a one-way landing really would be as simple and inexpensive as the fly by that is planned.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Bob

      It is already being planned for 2023.
      http://mars-one.com/en/

      February 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • SilentBoy741

      I think we finally found a way to ge those "3 strikes" laws to start having some effect, and solve the prison over-crowding problem to boot!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • David

        A Martian penal colony seems a bit ambitious...

        February 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  17. Seth Hill

    It's relatively easy to land humans on Mars ... but because Mars' gravity is much stronger than the Moon, very difficult to get them back. I wonder ... any volunteers for a one-way journey?

    February 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • raul

      id go on a one way journey

      February 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  18. tangledvine

    I'm no more an expert than anyone else but I do read extensively and have attended some very unique meetings out of my interest in space exploration. It has been rumored for decades that we have zero gravity power available at this time. And it's believed we aren't using it because such a change would trash the world economy. Look at the number of companies and workers in the industries of geologic engineering, mining, shipping, oil processing, trucking, manufacturing that would be affected. It is worldwide. Nevertheless, a move to another planet, putting a new power source to work would make perfect sense. There is a lot of experimentation going on worldwide with things that would be needed to create a "liveable" base on another planet. And, we know very little as far as the make-up of Mars. We know there was fluid on the surface within the last 5 million years or so and that the fluid was, likely, water. And, that it could still be found beneath the surface in frozen form. Also, we know of the presence of clay but the other minerals are still in question. It is expected some may be unknown to us. As to the radiation, the base would have to be below the surface. And, other liveable conditions would have to include a man-made pressurized atmosphere, temperature, gasses similar to Earth for human suitability.
    With that said, my concern is this: WHY do we want to live on Mars? Is it because we will NOT correct the damage to our own climate and we know it? Is it because we want to take control of it while control is for the taking? We certainly have many political foes on Earth and they are becoming more advanced and more dangerous. Or, other unknown reasons? Mars is the exciting unknown. But, what we do know is this: It is a cold, red dustball. There is no evidence of current life of any kind on the surface. No rivers, lakes, streams. No rainforests, redwood forests. No marshland. No oceans. No tidepools. No vines, flowers, orchards, or gardens. No grass or trees. No birds or fish or mammals.
    So, WHY the deep desire to spend trillions of dollars exploring it. The REAL why is the question people should be asking. Everyone is curious. But, there is a much bigger WHY and I'd like to know what it is.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • One Way Only

      You should really stop reading Weekly World News. The GooTans are not real.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • raul

      there is no why merely mars is the easiest and closet planet to earth to be able to even concieve this type of technology and attempt scientifically to either colonize and investigate. i would pick the moon much more easier. as far as setting up a base just to test the architectural designs and dynamics. but regardless of the needs its a great opportunity to expand and posibly investigate our own reasons on how to control climate or even change it . if mars is colonized ever.. it wont be naturally.. i pray we can keep earth in a working order though.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • avis

      get out of hang-over !!!!

      February 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • RKNY

      Why Mars? Because we need need to develop the technology to travel through space and colonize other locations. Don't keep all of your eggs in one basket. Any one population may eventually be subject to a disease, comet strike, nuclear war, or a number of other planet killers. A second, stable, and evetually self-sufficient population will be good insurance, but we ned to develop those technologies one step at a time. Long term space flight seems like a logical step, and we are ready to take that step.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  19. Steve S

    A year in space eating mystery food out of a bag???
    The wife would be eaten by the fourth month.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • WifeEater

      And you saying husbands don't eat wives on earth?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • Adam Y.

        LOL. Nowadays, that's how a husband gets a wife to blast off!

        February 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  20. Josh

    The Soviets kind-of tried this. They attempted to send a couple to circle behind the moon (take pics of the dark side), and return.

    Unfortunately, the capsule missed the moon, the moon's gravity, and simply continued into deep space. Either they died when their resources were used up (O2, H2O, food, etc), or they committed suicide.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • lolita whoohaa

      was that the trip with Elvis or Jimmy Hoffa? your a bozo

      February 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • BThorn

      False.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Buck

      Josh, what you are referring to is a confirmed hoax.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Rich

      That's a hoax. Never happened.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • kenchandammit

      Yeah... And George Bush blew up the Twin Towers with a secret military photon death ray...

      February 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • DP44022

        It was Darth Vader, not Bush, get your facts right!

        February 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  21. Chris

    I wanna go!

    February 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • lolita whoohaa

      Just take Obama and his goofy wife with you pleeze!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • pjones006

        I would prefer all you home-schooled yahoo's go instead.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  22. Richard DiLullo

    How about this, me and my fiancee of 4 years get wed in space while flying around mars? That would be amazing. Ive always told her I want to bring her the stars! kickass5946@gmail.com We would need a priest to come too though..

    February 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  23. Jim

    Sweet, first space fsck comeing soon!

    February 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • One Way Only

      Uh....surely that has been done. "Ride Sally Ride."

      February 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  24. crappygovernment

    How will they get through the lethal Van Allen Radiation belts? That's why NASA faked the Apollo missions. Click on my name for en entire blog dedicated to the Apollo hoax.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • bwhitten

      No, that's okay. I don't want any computer virus's coming from your wacko site.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • less

      Ah, so the Soviet missions were all faked too. Matter of fact, JFK was shot by the CIA. What else

      February 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • seriously

      "The Apollo missions marked the first event where humans traveled through the Van Allen belts, which was one of several radiation hazards known by mission planners. The astronauts had low exposure in the Van Allen belts due to the short period of time spent flying through them. The command module's inner structure was an aluminum "sandwich" consisting of a welded aluminium inner skin, a thermally bonded honeycomb core, and a thin aluminium "face sheet". The steel honeycomb core and outer face sheets were thermally bonded to the inner skin."

      February 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Joe

      OMG...suppose they faked all the pictures from the Lunar Orbiter? You know the ones showing the landing sites and the tracks left behind by to rovers and astronauts, not to mention all the hardware. Your delusional and need to find yourself a woman to occupy your time. I will not visit your blog either, I see enough BS on CNN's site, I don't need to look at yours!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Joe

      BTW... crappygoverment, feel free to leave the country at anytime, it's your right!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • SilentBoy741

      Those guys lost all relevance once they brought in Sammy Hagar.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • pjones006

      Cuckoo, cuckoo! I doubt they will remain directly in that belt for more then 48 hours straight which is about how long it would take to cause any harm to them.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • crappygovernment

        A ship with walls thick enough to shield the astronauts from the Van Allen Belts would be too heavy to make it off the launchpad. Be sure to check out my blog!

        February 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
      • pjones006

        Crapprgovernment? The scientist that belt was named after already answered that question along with about 40 to 50 astronauts and scientists regarding this "conspiracy". Nutjobs never could answer how those reflectors got placed on the moon. Its time for you whacks to pack up your double-wides and move on to your next conspiracy, talk to Mr. Ventura, I am sure he has some things you can work on.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • eqgold

      Oh Pleez, take your meds.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Aletheya

      You know, ignorance is a curable condition. It's your own fault if you choose to remain so.

      February 27, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  25. Howard

    Fly by Mars? I can't even get my wife to snuggle outdoors on blanket under the stars.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • johnjon33

      I know, right? that would be one awfully long "headache".

      February 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • M

      You too, eh? Join the club.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Pam

      How do I sign up? My husband and I work together so we are together 24 – 7 anyway. We'd love to go. My kids are grown and gone and my parents are gone too so nothing keeps me from doing something like this if they would take us.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  26. crappygovernment

    How will they get through the lethal Van Allen Radiation belts? That's why NASA faked the Apollo missions. Feel free to click on my name for en entire blog dedicated to the Apollo hoax.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Howard

      When did they start letting the asylum inmates have access to the internet?

      February 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • caimenvb

      I suppose you think the Internationa Space Station doesn't exisit either?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • XACTOMUNDO

      You trust scientists to tell you the truth about the Van Allen Belt, but you don't trust scientists to tell the truth about the moon landings. Your tin-foil hat must be on too tight...

      February 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • CT_JAX

      omg. Just so I understand..you think there is a conspiracy by the US Government about the man on the moon? You think it never happened? Is the moon made of cheese too?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • EJ

      Please go back to trying to fix the budget.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  27. Commentator

    What's the point of flying all the way to Mars and back in a years long journey without ever setting a foot there? Sounds like such a waste...

    February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • XACTOMUNDO

      It is a step beyond where we have been before. Exploration begins with inspiration. We are technically better off sending probes and robots to explore at this point, but having human beings travel into outer space pulls the future nearer to us and lights a fire. I think it is great...

      February 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • BThorn

      To prove it can be done. Last week, when this mission was first reported, there were a large number of narrow-minded, inside-the-box naysayers saying it was "IMPOSSIBLE!"

      February 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  28. CZ

    Send a lesbian couple.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • lolita whoohaa

      Hillary and Condaleeza

      February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  29. ginahagler

    Reblogged this on Synthesis.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  30. ricardo1968

    It seems like it would be dreadfully unsatisfying to sit in a box for a year, see Mars in the window, and know that you will never go there. First person to visit Mars? No. First person to see Mars up close? No, not really, we have rovers taking better pics than anything you will get to see. The goal seems to be to find out if someone can sit in a box for two years and stay sane. Yeah, sign me up...

    February 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Sean

      Count me in, Ricardo! Sure we wouldn't be able to touch down (yet) but we'd be the first humans to be within 36 million miles of ANY planet other than our own, let alone a 100 miles. That is pretty darn cool... And when I return 501 days later, maybe I inspire the next trip that puts people on the surface! Hardest decision I'd have to make would be who to take with me... Hope she likes board games and reading.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  31. Four Two

    .....wasting more money? Figures.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Brian

      It's private funds, not public. What do you waste your money on?

      February 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • tangledvine

        Brian, NO mission to a unknown planet will be without public expenditure. Even if the mission were funded privately, taxpayer funds would go to numerous projects set up to benefit from information gleaned from such a trip. NOTHING is a free ride for the public. And, there is a difference between one choosing to spend their money and someone choosing for them. Not that we actually have any choice.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • less

        the starving in Biafra, natch

        February 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • pjones006

        tangledvine really, besides the fact its not "unknown" and since we have never had a privately financed trip to any planet so your stating an opinion. I am curious as to what public funds and for what projects you are referring to? From your posts you are obviously anti-exploration and since you can't complain on your tax dollars being wasted, you are simply looking to tie this expedition into a waste of tax payer dollars any way you can, even if you make things up.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • kenchandammit

      'Wasting money' would require throwing it into the fire, or flushing it down the toilet. 'Spending money' on the other hand means giving money to other people who give you something in return, like a hot dog. or a car, or a space craft and the development of technology to fly it to Mars. You get the space craft; they get the money. And then they turn around and give the money to someone else.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Sean

      Comments like yours are a waste of time. Where do you draw the line?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Aletheya

      Yeah, that whole Columbus expedition to the Americas was a waste, too. Great nations need great goals. Small minds worry exclusively about money.

      February 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  32. Michael

    I wanna go, any awy they could send 3 people? im pretty space efficiant, dont care bout the untested life support or radiation ive just wanted to go since i was about 4, also i want to be one of the first to be on the moon when we put an outpost there..hopefully within 50 years.
    my biggest concern would be..how do you stave of boredom? i mean as epic as being out there is space is kind of just black nothingness, so id hope there would be something for those people who do go to do...books or something perhaps..or alot of naps...

    February 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Chris

      That's why they want married. They'll find a way to keep themselves entertained.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  33. hdsgn00

    With today's technology, it would take approx. 9 months to get to Mars. Think about what you would want aboard to keep busy; it will be a small space...good luck to the (winning) couple!!!

    February 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • jballgame

      I would require Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

      February 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • Aletheya

        Their whole discography!

        February 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  34. Capt Kirk

    Does it have to be man and wife? In today society, please, define "married."

    February 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Michael1

      They have to take a married guy because otherwise, who's gonna do the dishes and fold the laundry ?

      February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  35. mrwhatwhatwhatyo

    plenty of hash oil please

    February 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  36. Eddie Haskell

    Send Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  37. Person

    I'd volunteer. My wife and I just need someone to care for the pets while we are gone.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  38. Ted

    @do gooder. Philanthropy implies inspiration.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  39. Lila

    My husband and I would do it. We could easily spend all that time together, we are educated, not having kids and have already traveled all over the world. This would sound like a great adventure.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • bwhitten

      It would be interesting to see the Husband's response. I bet you it is entirely different.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Lila

        He said sign us up!

        February 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • PhinHead

        Yeah, I can see her husband answering the question: "Honey if I die, would you remarry?" Husband: "Of course not honey" (w/ best poker face) Just like this husband keeping a straight face "Sign us up" (thinking...yeah, I want to go and spend over 500 days in metall closet with nothing to do, look at, go or talk to other than you).

        February 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • Lila

        Hmmm, miserable people in miserable marriages, don't be shocked but not everyone lives like you. Some of us have great marriages.

        February 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Freeworld81

      This would take 2 tremendously well grounded committed individuals to pull this off. We as humans are capable of pulling this off, but there has to be some serious planning involved. 501 continuous days in orbit with the same person would be a challenge for anyone, but the views would amazing.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Mark

      I would agree with Lila on this one – sucks to be you buddy – if I was that miserable I cant imagine why she would want to spend 501 days with me either. In the end, I hope and expect there will be a pool of very intelligent, educated, couples ready to commit to this. Don't knock people for it.If your marriage sucks – tough for you.

      February 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  40. Henny Youngman

    Take my wife... please! ;-)

    February 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  41. Jeffrey Root

    I'll be 36 and my wife will be 32 in 2018. We've been married for 7 years and don't want to have kids biologically. Send us. We're super fit. Just give us a lot of movies, games, books and a pharmacy full of drugs and we'll be fine.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Jeffrey Root

      In all seriousness, I believe in this mission. It is feasible because much of the technology already exists, such as environmental systems that are working on the ISS and the Dragon Capsule that just needs to be human rated. There are 2 Bigelow inflatable habitats in orbit as well. The Falcon Heavy test launch is also scheduled for its first test flight this year and it's already based on the active Falcon 9 rocket.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Freeworld81

      Yeah, you would need loads of entertainment on that journey. 501 days of continuous flight would be a challenge for anyone, but I believe in the human spirit and I think we can pull this off.....

      February 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  42. do gooder

    If this is a philanthropic mission, why not just use the money on earth where a lot more people would be helped? That's real philanthropy.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Buck

      Last I checked, scientific research and the creation of jobs does in fact benefit the people of Earth.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • John

      do gooder: where do you think the money will be spent?? Just like all space programs, not a dime is ever spent in space.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • SlapShot

        He probably thinks it will be dropped into the laps of terrorist Martians.

        /wheres the large KaBoom!

        February 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • KenneyP of Colorado

      Many advancements we have on earth came about because of space exploration.

      What would you say if because of space exploration missions like this human-kind would gain the knowledge to save ALL of earth from a space disaster? Would that be real philanthropy enough for you? Would that help enough people on this planet for your liking?

      February 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • jaime

      Because of having a bit of foresight isn't a bad idea. Maybe our kids or their kids will be able make use of travel to Mars and the resources there as well.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • celtic lady

      You statement is incredibly narrow minded. The money is spent here on earth, giving people jobs. And most importantly we as a species need to expand, explore and push outward. It IS the history of man. Read your history.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  43. sara

    Why bring them back-land, take pictures and send back reports until your resources dry up.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Joe

      I would really like to meet you. joeofcola at hotmai!

      February 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • Admiral Ackbar

        It's a trap!

        February 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • NYCguy

      Sara, I like ur malicious spirit. Lets volunteer u and me. lol

      February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Sean

      If that's the case, can we send Kanye and Kim K? Even if we never hear back from them... Still for the good of humanity. Win win.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  44. Leonid Brezhnev

    Over a year couped up with the wife, and no where to go??? No thanks! I guarantee that one of us would not make it back alive.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  45. lvsingleton

    If it takes NASA $10 of billions to land a person on Mars, do I really want to be in the ship that they spent less than $1 billion on? I dont want to sit in a ship for a year only to crash into mars. PASS

    February 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  46. Badly-Bent

    Better send a dentist and a doctor!

    February 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • lolita whoohaa

      and condoms casue we're gonna watch them scr*w

      February 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  47. Dereck Decker

    I want to go. Seriously, I want to do this. It couldn't be any worse than being stuck in a truck all the time. And it'd be a new adventure for me. Maybe me and the wife could call it our honeymoon.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • RealSci

      Go ahead. You might have a very short life afterwards, but hey, it's only radiation. The cancer only hurts for a little while. It will be glorious to see Mars form 100 miles up, right? Then, tell the world what everyone else has seen from unmanned spacecraft time and time again. I'd rather wait until we can actually land on the surface and touch the Martian soil.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Jason

      Honeymars you mean

      February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  48. Mark Perkinson

    Not land? Then what's to be gained? A tourist trip to see Mars, a planet already well photographed. That's all they can walk away with. Spending a billion dollars so two people can look out a window and say "wow! We're the closest anyone's ever been to Mars! Look at that view!" And maybe write a book about it. -Mark Perkinson, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • John

      Thank goodness the pioneers of space travel didn't share your negativity or limited understanding of the proper way to get from Point A to Point Z. You think they went from sending Shepard into his suborbital flight right to Armstrong on the moon?

      February 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • flambeauxfire

      Give em a chance! If they wanna actually do it it would be awesome

      February 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • BThorn

      What was the point of Apollo 8? But that drew the world's attention for a week in 1968.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • lolita whoohaa

      they might as well be on Jet Blue circling Chicago – same length of time!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  49. Michael John Anthony

    I'm all for a humans-to-Mars expansion like Robert Zubrin's Mars Direct but this is dreaming. Design, test and implement an orbital Mars mission in 5 years? If they had said 10 years, I would have believed them.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • KenneyP of Colorado

      Most of the technology ALREADY exists. We already have hardware to go yo Mars. We have landed machines on Mars. This is a fly-by like we did several times with the moon BEFORE we landed on the moon.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Michael John Anthony

        My point is it takes more than 5 years to get from "Most of the technology exists" to a working mission with lives on the line. You are missing out the testing phase.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • dgnmstr

      Robert Zubrin's book outlines the best way to do Mars. This idea of going there, not landing, and coming right back is a waste of money. Dr. Zubrin's wonderful book outlines a way to land a crew on Mars and give them many months to conduct scientific research before returning to Earth. Most of the technology already exists. If they are serious about this, they should be talking to Dr. Zubrin who has already put together the most logical Mars mission. Too much detail to go into here. But for those of you who want to check out the book, it's called "The Case For Mars".

      February 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  50. Chris

    "married couple"
    my question is that do they have to be married to each other or married just not to each other. that would make the journey much more pleasent.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • flambeauxfire

      Married to each other. OMG. Now THAT could end up a nightmare!

      February 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  51. Paige

    I volunteer my husband and me!! :-D What an adventure it would be!

    February 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Chuck Shick

      you'll have a chance at blowing up like the Challenger.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  52. Peter Riedel

    What?! No talk about radiation and solar flares etc. that they will have been bombarded with over that time?

    February 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • John

      Hey, Chicken Little, go find a rock to hide under and let the brave adults talk about expanding the limits of our imagination and exploration.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Aletheya

      The Russians have had cosmonauts in space nearly as long as this mission would take. It's a concern, but obviously not a show stopper. They did say that's why they want a couple past child bearing age – because of radiation exposure. No risk, no gain.

      February 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  53. palintwit

    Once we colonize Mars we will be able to deport all the baggers, birthers, Palin lovers and members of the NRA. They can build trailer parks, nascar tracks and watch Honey Boo Boo for the rest of their worthless lives.

    February 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • slamajamma

      Why would you want to send away Obama voters? Remember, Honey Boo Boo said she would have voted for Obama if she could.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Yobama

        Actually she did.

        February 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • flambeauxfire

      Im a complete Obama lover and even I hate you. I'd love to put you on there and watch u scream as the spaceship took off

      February 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
      • trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby

        *poot*

        February 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  54. KumQuat

    Send the Kardashians

    February 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • tangledvine

      We're trying to clean up the space trash, not add to it.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  55. OrganicManLives_N_anOraganicUNiverSE

    I'll marry anyone to go...

    February 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • CNN

      A life support system also would have to be developed.
      You think???

      February 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
      • geekbus

        lol You beat me to that. These can-do guys are not ones to get all dramatic about some pesky little details – I admire that! :D

        February 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • BThorn

        Already being developed for Dragon, CST-100 and Dream Chaser. Also, Space Station already has a closed-loop life support system in use, with the bugs still being worked out.

        February 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  56. Barghest

    I guess a lot of people will still be declaring space exploration a waste of time and money right up to the point where we start eating each other. What parts of "finite resources" and "increasing population" don't you understand? Or do you just not care because you won't be around to worry about it? That's just short-sighted ignorance and apathy.

    February 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • CNN

      Obamacare will fix that. No need for Soilent Green.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • terry k

        send the obozo family, they seem to enjoy vacations funded by other people

        February 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Saoirse72

      Really, I just cannot believe that people still believe in Malthusian 200 year old BS. I guess psuedo-science is still alive and kicking.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Dave

      sounds like Congress.........

      February 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • James PDX

      Let's face it, most of the rapidly increasing population centers are in crappy 3rd world countries. If we just stop sending them medical, food and financial aid, their numbers will likely take a downturn soon enough.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Blix

      Pass the Fava beans and that nice Chianti.

      February 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
  57. generichost

    Aren't there already enough settlements on Mars?

    February 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  58. Robear in Ojai

    Should be a gay male couple. MUCH less complications!

    February 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • slamajamma

      But WAY more messy.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  59. irunner

    A married couple, eh? They'll kill each other within a month! I've been married 34 years and still need a few hours each day away from you know who!

    February 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  60. Roy

    No worries, the Dutch are going to start to send the first human to Mars. A one way trip by the way ;)

    February 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  61. Buck Rogers

    Will the Chinese be involved with any joint-venture Mars fake?

    February 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  62. T

    I like the idea of a manned mission to Mars – privately funded that is....but I don't think it can happen in five short years....
    it should be properly privately funded and planned with every dangerous angle thought of, our crew – well trained, have top of the line equipment/materials and a launch schedule around 2028.

    But, not just two people over 55 – I think four to eight people from 30 to 50s, would be needed to go on this mission plus first, send a automated supply capsule with all the necessities needed for survival should be sent ahead to be waiting for our landing party to use on the ground, when they arrive.

    If they're worried about pregnancy – ever hear of a vasectomy ? That'll solve one thing.

    So in conclusion – maybe in 50-75 years or so, mankind will move off the Earth (solving the overpopulation problem) and move out thru the solar system – kind of like that movie...."Total Recall" preferably without radiation problems or the mutants (LOL).

    I like to see that in my lifetime (but not likely....). Well, I'm going to watch "Forbidden Planet' again.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • heliocracy

      They're not worried about the woman getting pregnant while in flight, they're worried she will be rendered infertile forever, or have her eggs mutated, due to radiation exposure. Gotta read between the lines a little bit. Also, they're not talking about a landing on Mars.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  63. gb333

    We should have been on mars in the late 1980s.

    We should have a colony there by now. I should be able to take a trip there.

    But were backwards as a society.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Martian

      "But were backwards as a society".... Yes, and you are living proof of that.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • timmaahhyy

        Hes right, I'm afraid. If we had spent the wealth of our nation on space exploration instead of invasions, nation building, foreign aid, welfare and foodstamps we would be far ahead of where we are. And where we are is nowhere. To the moon in 1969. that was over 40 years ago and we have done next to nothing since in the manned space flight arena.

        February 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • John

        I love how the two illiterates agree with each other.

        February 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • gb333

        I love how people disagree with insults.

        February 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Science!

      Comeon Quahog. Get these people ayaarr.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • E j Germond

      Yackitty yack! Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Somebody's living in a dream world.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Barghest

      Sad but true. We are WAY behind in space exploration compared to where we should be by now. Maybe when we go back to the moon and find the Chinese there who will tell us to get off, we'll realize how big a mistake it was to procrastinate.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Choconet

      Space exploration to a dead planet is backwards period! A few months ago NASA said they discovered a planet similar to earth in another galaxy why not aim to go there and start a colony? Why shoot for a dead planet? Because its closer? It’s still dead and anything that tries to survive on it will also be dead!

      February 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • Starnerd

        NASA has not found another Earth-like planet. Some have been nearly the same size and possibly in the habitable zone of the parent start, but that's it. We cannot see planets in other galaxies; WAY too far away. But, if we did decide to send a mission to another galaxy, it would take at least 10-15 MILLION years to get there. And this is with propulsion systems we have no idea how to build. Yet.

        February 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Cashman

        Because that planet (KOI-172.02) is around 1040 light years away from us...Meaning if we could get a spaceship travelling at the speed of light (we can't), then it would still take over a thousand years just to get there, then another 1000+ for any signals they could send to reach back to earth. And you mean different solar system, not galaxy – The nearest galaxy outside the Milky Way is Canis Major at 42,000 light years away. Need to crawl before you can walk.

        February 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
      • T

        To get out there....we'll need FTL (Faster than Light) ships (like the USS Enterprise NX-01 or NCC1701 (Star Trek), Cruiser D-57 (Forbidden Planet),Millennium Falcon (Star Wars), Prometheus (Prometheus movie), Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda), Galactica (Battlestar Galactica), Agamemnon (Babylon 5), etc.) to get anywhere in the galaxy.

        Until FTL tech comes along – we're stuck in our own Sol System – at least there's Mars to shoot for.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • gb333

      We landed on the moon in 1969.

      We could have landed on Mars by 1989.

      We are a backwards society because we actually have all the tool available to solve 90% of our current problems. But we are too greedy, too close minded, and far too willing to throw an insult as opposed to an idea. Even if its a contradicting idea or thought. By the way, I am college educated, moderately successful, and debt free. (because I worked my a** off to get where I am.) So keep the insults to yourself.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  64. svann

    At its closest distance its 229x as far as the moon. That is going to be very dangerous. And if you miss the window of return you have to wait a year till the earth comes back around.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • BThorn

      They're not stopping at Mars, so there's no possibility of waiting for a return window. They either are successful at launch, or they fail. No in-between.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • lizardking1086

      Actually, it would be 152 times as far. . . Just clarifying 38,000,000 / 250,000 = 152

      February 28, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  65. Boo

    I volunteer....

    February 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Tough Cookie

      I volunteer...............................My wife to go.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  66. Wes

    Read my reply below to Joe as I call my travel agent and NASA. I need to leave as soon as possible. For me, it's a win-win proposition.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  67. Chris J

    SIGN ME UP! I'm ready, even if it's a one-way trip.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  68. QK292

    I can't beleive this we still are building our spaceships on earth we have have an orbiting platform called the ISS we are limited to the size of what we launch, why not build in space. We proved we have the tech all ready to assemble things in space. Our next endevor should be to build an interplanetary ship we can take to any planet in our system built in space never to land on anything but have craft to send to surface in it. come and go from the ISS to exchange crew and supplys. We have the ISS up their, we send supplys up all the time why do we have to launch from earth? Build it in space make it big enough to travel for a an extended time and to carry a larger crew and equipment. Each time it returns it can be updated with newer tech. Why put our money into none reuseable craft ?

    February 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Guy

      You still need to send the raw materials up. And we have no large lift capable rocket that can easily handle to amount of material needed.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Samv

      Star Trek? Good suggestion Captain James T Kirk!!

      February 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  69. Weston

    The problem they don't point out:
    Two people will be living in microgravity for about 1.3 years. That's longer than than ISS astronauts stay up there, and they have to maintain muscle mass, plus the food and water to maintain a rigorous exercise regime, unresupplied, over the 1.3 year period.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • sybaris

      The record for time in space is 437.7 days

      February 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Buck

      That's an excellent point. Thankfully one of the benefits to the ISS program is that the exercise equipment has vastly improved. The good news at least is that the results from a mission like this will provide much beneficial research data for future long term space missions.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bill G

      A few soviet cosmonauts have been in space, continuously, for longer than 1.3 years and several American astronauts have been in space only slightly shorter amounts of time, with no long term health effects. Vigorous exercise is necessary and food stores must be ample (water can be recycled), but it is certainly possible. Its a lot easier to do with two people then it would be with 5 or 6 though.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • BC

      Who says they intend to come back healthy? I think it is safe to say they will come back in pretty rough shape – maybe irreversible. But they will go down in history as space pioneers. Maybe that is worth it to them – especially if they are in their 50's.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  70. Jim

    “out of the childbearing years.” . . Just send two gay astronauts. Problem solved.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • heliocracy

      How does that solve the problem? Their balls will get zapped by radiation as surely as a woman's eggs would.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  71. BubblesB

    What if they have a baby? Are they going to send along 2-years worth of diapers?

    February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Cali

      Facepalm. "Because of the radiation risk, MacCallum said, they’d be older and “out of the childbearing years.”"

      February 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  72. RRWExpat

    Two points: 1) Why a married couple? Most men, and probably most women, would enjoy a 500 day break away from each other while being cooped up in a space capsule with a spouse for that time would result in divorce. 2) Can't the returning rocket off-load the people and the data onto the space station for return to earth? It seems easier to link up with the space station than trying to get a heat shield designed in 5 years and gamble on it working properly.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Josh

      It would take fuel, a lot of fuel, to slow the returning spaceship down to an Earth orbital speed. That's why Apollo simply went straight in, when returning from our moon.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • ysc

        I wonder if extra fuel tanks (along with containers full of extra provisions) could be sent out ahead of actual launch to meander at certain points every 5-10 million miles for the spacecraft to rendezous with and replenish itself?

        February 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • cja

      It turns out you have to gamble either way. You build a over-designed heat shield and hop it works and use that as a brake and hope it works. or you take a huge rocket to mars and bring it back with you and use the huge rocket as a brake so you can match seeds to the MUCH slower space station. The rocket is harder to haul to mars and back and less likely to work. The problem is the need to apply "brakes" after you get close to Earth. "aero-braking" is the cheapest way.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Sid Airfoil

      I like that idea a lot. Forget sending a heat shield all the way to Mars just so they can use it for a few minutes when they get back to Earth. Instead, have them dock with the ISS on the way back, and use one of their capsules to return to Earth.

      Sid

      February 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • irunner

        If the returning spacecraft were going slow enough to dock with ISS, they would not need a huge heatshield. That is not an option.

        February 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  73. Josh

    “out of the childbearing years.”

    Is the man going to be recruited from eunuch cult?

    February 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • a thought

      What about an already infertile couple? They got a crap hand dealt anyway, why not let them go? People have many reasons for having children, but on of the big reasons is to create offspring so their particular root of this giant tree will live forever. Giving an infertile couple this chance would solve the scientific problem and let the couple make their mark on human history.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • Josh

        Due to the radiation levels, the male needs to be permanently infertile for the remainder of his life; not simply the couple.

        February 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  74. Zak Koch

    I'd consider marrying an older women and getting and getting snipped at then age 28 to accomplish this.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Craig Hook

      Mitt to Mars.... it would be a homecoming.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  75. Josh

    Reminds me of the "secret" trips taken by Soviet Cosmonauts. All risk. Little if any scientific payoff.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  76. jj

    I hope they will take off from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  77. sparky

    No rocket, no crew capsule. This thing is as real as unicorns.

    It is not short-sighted or unimaginative to point out very real problems like that.

    NASA, contrary to apparent popular belief, is not full of time-wasting idiots. If they won't sign up for a mission like this in five years, with the head start that they've got, then this operation is most likely a fraud.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • slamajamma

      You've got to remember. When Kennedy announced sending a man to the moon, and returning him shortly, the U.S. was only blowing up rockets up on earth, and had sent nothing into orbit, NOTHING.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • sparky

        You've got to remember that the first-stage rocket engine for the Saturn V moon rocket was test-fired in 1959, two years before he gave that speech. In other words, more than TEN YEARS before the actual landing, and before the program was announced, America was seriously building that rocket.

        Furthermore, America spent about 3% of the country's GDP on the moon race during that time. They were serious about it.

        This group has nowhere near that amount of money and nowhere near the background of rocket development. And if they did, it'd only be enough to get to the moon. Sending two people to Mars, which is a LOT farther away, with life support, etc., would require a much bigger rocket and more money.

        Please.

        February 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  78. Jeff

    Not really sure how I feel about sending a married couple. Or, a mixed gender crew for that matter. Just saying that birth control isn't 100% effective, and a man and a woman alone for 18 months is probably going to result in something happening.

    Sending a couple that is past childbearing age to space for 18 months? Seems like if people return to Earth with deteriorated muscular and skeletal systems after 6 months, sending an older couple up would not be the wisest idea.....

    February 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • cja

      Likely it is only older people who will ever go. Radiation is such a problem you need people who will die of old age before the cancer from the radiation. It will be the 55 and up crowd that goes.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Josh

        Mar Mission Volunteers must be able to show their AARP card.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  79. David Duvall

    I believe that more benefits would be derived from established a spacestation at the earth-moon Lagrange point before attempting a "flyby" of Mars.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  80. Joe

    What they need are a couple of selfless brave souls willing to sign up for a one way mission and actually land on Mars rather than fly by it. Do whatever research they can before their time is up and go down in history as the first humans to step foot on another planet. People have willingly died for much less.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • cja

      Landing is MUCH harder then a fly-by and limey not technically possible with todays technology and their budget. But a flyby is "easy". Likely 1,000 easier to fly-by then to land. !,000 times harder still is doing the return trip which is in effect a Mars to Earth mission but done without much infrastructure on Mars.

      The fly-by is really just a stunt.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Buck

        The Mars fly-by would pave the way for a future mission in which we do land humans on Mars. I'd hardly call it a "stunt".

        February 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Wes

      I would certainly be most willing to go to Mars on a one-way trip. I have an extensive background in physics and aeronautics, and design engineering: and I am a paraplegic. I would have my legs removed as they serve no purpose in weightless space, apart from problematic edema. I have a colostomy which eliminates the complexity of a toilet system and provides a secondary energy system for self sustaining life systems. I have no family or friends here and I live an isolated, sequestered life dedicated to studying science and technology (for the past 18+ years). I would have no interest in coming back and I could provide considerable insights into planetary research. I presently live in a region that is remarkably similar to the Martian landscape, and I prefer the stark isolation of desert life to company. Please send me now.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Juan

        Lol..i dont know if you were serious or not.
        But that was hillarious!

        Btw, im hoping its true and they send you.

        February 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Jim

      I'll go. One way. just want to be kept alive as long as the trip out there. And I need a martian rover to get around. I really think it will be easier to land on Mars than to land on Earth.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  81. TSB8C

    My wife and I hereby volunteer.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  82. Ross

    For the record here is what will happen, They will raise millons of dollars from investors the money will dry up after several failed attemts, and the CEO will be weathy and then move on to his next scam.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • sparky

      EXACTLY. Thank you.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  83. Chubby

    I love my wife but if we went to mars, only one of us would come back.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Solomon

      Chubby gets eaten?

      February 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Chubby

        Not enough of me to last for 501 days.

        February 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  84. Name* Sally Eko

    Most people are not enjoying this planet earth yet why mars. The few affluent do not care about the thoughts of the poor majority.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Buck

      If you are suggesting this money would be better spent on charities for the poor, I disagree with you. You help the poor by creating jobs and a hope for a better future (thru programs like this Mars mission). Alternatively, giving handouts to those in need doesn't solve the overall problem.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • heliocracy

        Handouts? Hate to break it to you, but without job training, you can create all the jobs you want and there will be no one to fill them. Not all government help to the poor comes in the form of handouts, though you amateur Republicans like to think so for some unknown reason.

        February 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • Buck

        heliocracy, first of all I'm a registered Democrat so shame on you for trying to turn this political. Secondly, you entirely misunderstand my comment. My original point was that the best way to help someone in a poor financial situation is to find them employment. A program like this one provides jobs. More jobs are exactly what the economy needs. You unfortunately also fail to understand that the jobs created by programs like this one are NOT all going to be in highly technical fields. Finally, charities can be a great thing. Even my own parents had to rely on a charity for a time. BUT, the only reason they had to do so was because at the time they both had difficulty finding any work.

        February 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  85. John Doe

    Oscar, you are no more correct than Widow. You state that there is not enough light for solar panels on Mars, yet the first set of rovers we sent ran on? You guessed it, SOLAR PANELS! And the planet temps are not all that bad if your in the right place, extremes from a warmest of 27 °C (81 °F) to −143 °C (−225 °F) at the winter polar caps. While you couldn't survive at the caps, you probably could at the equator with the right technology and of course water, but supposodly Mars has water too. But you are right on the Moon, nothing there.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Buck

      Nothing on the moon? We don't know that. Read about He-3. A moon colony could also provide invaluable research and be used as a base of operations for future space exploration missions.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • Daveg, mn

        He-3 is worthless. We don't have fusion power reactors. It's like saying 200 years ago: "hey let's go to Nevada because there is Uranium"....worthless.
        Mars has actual water ice which is easily used for life support and rocket fuel. CO2 dry ice can be also reacted to make methane (rocket fuel).

        What I'd like to see someone do is land a water purifier and methane reactor, some tanks and start prepping for a human landing now...(see Robert Zubrin's plans)

        February 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Buck

        @Dave. First of all, you can't simply say He-3 is worthless. In your own comment you suggest that it MAY become very valuable in the future. Yes it may take some considerable time before we see a fusion reactor that could potentially use He-3. But my simple point was that a person can't make a simple blanket statement that there's nothing on the moon. There is in fact a lot about the moon we haven't discovered yet.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • Oscar Pitchfork

        Yeah, Buck, but there's STILL nothing on the moon that we can't find/get/make on Earth for a fraction of the price. See? When you REALLY don't know anything, you always look like a fool...

        February 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Buck

        Oscar, still having difficulty posting an intelligent comment without resorting to insults are we?

        February 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • CurmudgeonTx

        Oscar, You DO realize that resources on Earth are FINITE, right? We'll run out of everything at some point in time.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  86. Robert

    Why stop at a man and a woman. Why not send their three kids too... and a co-pilot, a robot and a stow-away Dr. Smith. Then we can all relive "Lost in Space." What I'm trying to say is, this is rediculous. It's a wast of money and the same work can be done with robots at far, far less cost. Moreover, all they're going to find is a thoroughly dead planet.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Robert

      As far as economics, we simply can't afford this. We're having to begin shutting down the Defense Department and are not going to be able to make good on Social Security and Medicare. Let's pay our bills first and THEN think about such luxury science.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • Thomas

        Where in this article does it say anything about the government fitting the bill? This is funded by private investors.

        February 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Les

        You should read the entire article Robert. The private money being used would not be going to Social Security or health care. They are not asking for gov't money.

        February 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • rebecca

        Did you miss the part of the article where it said the money wasn't coming from any public funds or NASA. It's two guys with a ton of their own personal money flipping the bill. If you wanna whine about people spending ridiculous amounts of money on things you don't like, stand in front of a few gated communities in Beverly Hills for a couple days and see what reaction you get.

        February 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • T

        Read the article – PRIVATELY INVESTED – NO GOVT. MONEY.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Chris

        This is a private endeavor. There is no cost to the general public except those who wish to help provide funding.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • baelknight

      This is not a govt funded "waste of money", its being done privately. As it should be. And if successful will help advance the country like the moon landing did back in 69.

      I hail this as progress and its not at the tax payer's expense.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Stu in Iowa

      Warning! Warning Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!

      February 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • T

        Very funny !

        February 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • paullubbock

      How is it a waste of money if it is not your money. It is a privately funded endeavor, if they wish to spend their money on sending two people to Mars or making a big burning man out of dollar bills and light it up on their birthday, it's still not your concern.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • less

        Well, defacing US currency is against the law, and those reducing the amount in circulaton shoudd be punushed. Severly. Reason being it cosrts the little people trillions by now to print more. And those winds up in the poclets of the rich. Always

        February 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Lance

      What part of "The group is not asking NASA for money, he said." do you not grasp?

      February 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • CurmudgeonTx

      I'd skip the crazy-want-to-kill-the-crew doctor.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  87. Caroline

    SIgn us up to go! My husband is a retired rocket scientist. This would be an awesome scientific endeavor!

    February 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  88. André

    Me and my wife will volunteer. Doctor and psychologist should be a good mix.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • JeapersCreapers

      Gee, since you're a doc you think you would be quite educated. But when I read the words "me and my wife" , something just seems wrong. If it said my wife and I, I would not have written this.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • DA

        and yet, you still don't understand how languages evolve over time.

        February 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • RF

        Who said the male was the doctor?

        February 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  89. Arias

    Seems ridiculous to go and just do a fly by without landing. What would really be the point?

    February 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • SpaceDevelopmentBenfit

      Do not understand your thoughts? The human race has benefited so much from the early space projects, such as home computers, cell phones, medical advancements (such as invasive surgery), and so much more. The United States needs the space program to continue to lead in all fields of advancement; as long as China, Iran, and Russia do not steal it from us.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • baelknight

      The point would be that we would have accomplished getting to mars and back, as well as noting any effects of space travel on a more significant scale than simply flying to earth orbit or even the moon.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • cbc

      Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 each did a "fly-by" without landing on the moon.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • Bo

        Don't forget Apollo 13! Though, I suppose just a fly-by wasn't the initial plan. Houston, they had a problem.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • Josh

        They weren't fly-bys. They achieved orbit. And Apollo 10 even had a fueled up lunar landing with it.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • PoqVaUSA

        Actually, Apollo 8 and 10 went into orbit around the Moon, and then left orbit for return to Earth. The free-return trip will be more like Apollo 13, which was forced to do a once-around without stopping after their service module was damaged during an explosion en route. All the same, a manned free-return trip to Mars and back would be an amazing accomplishment. It might even inspire public support for trips with more lasting impact.

        March 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Oakspar77777

      The point is to do it.

      By doing it, you prove it can be done and how to do it.

      This lets you do it again, possibly with a landing in the middle.

      Then you can think about why to keep on doing it (if there is cause).

      In the mean time, you have gotten better at every step up to that point.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  90. Tim S.

    This would be such a waste of time and money. Nothing beneficial will come from a mission to Mars. Maybe we should put the energy into making this world a better place.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • David DeForge

      Well, it's not your money to waste.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      maybe we should have just trimmed the tree we lived in in Ethiopia.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Pepinium

      Tim, I am trying to think of one word that encapsulates your type. I am affraid most of them would not pass the censor in these postings. You have no vision ot concept of your place in this universe. Why go to Mars? In the course of the last 100 years we have come to understand that there are many, many different types of cosmic events that could wipe out this planet at any time with little or no warning. It is the responsiblity of all species to work to ensure it survival. It is therefore absolutely imperative that we start the mission of disperssing throughtout this Galaxy as soon as possible, since, by doing so, we will significantly increase our chances of survival. This is a mission that will take many, many generations but delaying it while being aware of the risks is irresponsible. Our future is out there but unless we get going soon, the fight for resources in this planet might make the mission impossible to undertake and we might condenm ourselves to eventual cannibalism. Get an education and don't be affraid of those that are your superiors, just don't get involved with decisions you are simply not prepared to contribute to. Beam me Up Scotty, I want to get away as soon as possible from I D I 0T s like Tim.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Buck

      Please explain how research and the creation of jobs doesn't benefit society.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Matt

      And where is this money being spent? Oh yeah, being put back into our economy, it's providing jobs for people. Better to do this than to it just sit in a bank doing nothing.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  91. cybercmdr

    While going to Mars is a good "wow, science is cool!" type of event, it won't mean anything if we don't go back. We need to colonize the Moon, and get it self sustaining to the point that it can act as a stepping stone to the rest of the solar system. It has a much shallower gravity well, which would make launches easier. The lack of atmosphere would also enable use of alternate launching technologies like electromagnetic acceleration. Power is no problem; lots of solar power, nuclear power can be used without as much heavy shielding, and no sensitive ecosystems to worry about.
    Why go to the Moon? Low gravity manufacturing, the ability to build huge deep space sensors, retirement homes (a lot easier to get around in 1/6 g), being able to fly (a big enough enclosed space, and a human could fly with strap on wings), asteroid deflection (again, low g means cheaper launches), .....

    February 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Yes let's put all our old people out of the way... On the moon...

      February 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  92. Dobravery

    Just send one person, but with more system and supply redundancy. You could also negotiate a docking with the ISS, then return via a pre-existing channel.

    February 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  93. Jorge

    Martian couple, who have recieved all kinds of media signals from planet Earth since man was able to transmit them, as they watch the contrails of the manned mars ship on it's landing approach, -"Oh C-R-A-P their goes the neighborhood..."

    February 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  94. Kevin

    Send enough supplies for a lifetime and call them adam and eve... who says we can't play god

    February 27, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Maybe

      You can, but that's all u doing: playing.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Dobravery

      That lifetime could be merely 1-500 days...

      February 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  95. Maybe

    I think Nas said it best when he said "N*ggas play wit PlayStations (PS4 coming out), they building space stations, on Mars plotting civilizations..."

    February 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Maybe

      And A side note...Nas said this back in the 90's

      February 27, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  96. Big Al

    They laughed at Columbus when he said the world was round. They also laughed a Ponce de Leon. Pick your poison.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Mike

      Um ... No, they didn't. By the time Columbus sailed, it was already known to pretty much everyone that the world was round.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • rebecca

      They weren't worried about him falling off the edge of the earth. They were worried that they were financing a trip to find a shortcut to the Indies and China and none would be found (i.e. he'd come back with nothing). They were right. He never did find a shortcut without bumping into the Americas.

      February 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  97. Nathan Epler

    I am totally pro-science and space exploration, but I will bet my house this will not happen by 2018. Completely unrealistic. Also, millionaires cannot make this claim. I think you have to at least be a billionaire.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  98. Will S

    Not going to happen.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • irunner

      I'm sure the Wright brothers and Columbus heard the same line.

      February 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  99. Dan

    Hell yes. That's all I need to say.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  100. widow

    People can complain about the government or private sector wasting money on the space race.. But actually it creates trillions of dollars for the economy.. Something Obama obviously doesn't realize by drastically cutting Nasa.

    If you look at the mission to the moon it created 100's of millions of jobs. with sustainability and changed the world forever. I am talking about the Personal Computer. If IBM hadn't been given money to work on the space program we wouldn't have had the personal computer soo fast. It has created sooo many jobs around the world and affected everyone. there are other technologies that were born from the space program as well. Maybe next time it will be a power supply that changes the way the world works.. The point of space exploration is to push our boundaries. To invent to methods to achieve the goals that we set. When Newt Gingrich was talking about going to the moon again that is what he assumed people would understand he meant.. Instead they mocked him for there lack of knowledge and what he was really trying to get at which is technology growth. You need to have big goals with big challenges to create big things.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • I Am God

      He claimed that we should populate the Moon and make it a state of the United States. That is where he lost all his credibility.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • cja

        populate the moon? Yes that is silly, unless there is an economic reason to do so. The only induc=stry I can think of is tourism. If space flight ever becomes cheap there WILL be tourists. However I said "if". It may never be cheap enough that the average person can go.

        February 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Oscar Pitchfork

      Widow, you are an armchair novice, a completely unsophisticated, non-critically thinking moron. The reason they quit going to the moon, was because of decreasing returns, which led to the scrapping of Apollo 18. They brought rocks back from the moon, and they have identified what they are. Nothing magical exists on the moon. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SURVIVE must be taken with you: food, water, energy. Same with Mars: not enough light for solar panels, ambient temp is dry-ice conditions, nothing to burn to convert any ores, no oxygen to burn it in for that matter. All energy will have to be taken along, and it better be nuclear, or they'll probably run out. IF they're still stupid enough to go.

      February 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Buck

        Oscar, I have many issues with your comment. But to sum it up, you're entirely too negative and short sighted. Next time you comment, I suggest refraining from personal insults. Furthermore, you are not anymore of an expert on this topic than Widow.

        February 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • PaxLoki

        might want to read a little about helium 3–not quite ready for prime time–however its day is coming

        February 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
      • PoqVaUSA

        Oscar, Settling the moon would be a bit like settling Greenland. There are not very many resource there to support a settlement. However, Mars is another matter, more like settling North America. There are many more resources there to support settlement. In fact, even for a landing and return trip the cost goes down considerably when the propellent can be extracted and processed on the planet surface before anyone lands there. As for the personal comments about widow, they really reflect poorly on yourself rather than upon widow. Grow up and be civil.

        March 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
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