February 21st, 2013
03:21 PM ET

Human mission to Mars may be planned for 2018

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

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

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

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

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

Tito wasn't an especially young space voyager then; he was 60 when he visited the space station. The entrepreneur used to work for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early 1960s, charting flight paths for Mariner probes built to orbit Mars.

His organization's new idea is to get to Mars and back in 501 days. The official description is as follows:

This "Mission for America" will generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation.

There's no word yet on where the money will come from, or how the potential space traveler(s) would survive the journey.

We will learn more about this plan at a press conference planned for Wednesday at the National Press Club.

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

Post by:
Filed under: In Space • Mars
soundoff (504 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    This is a scam. Mission to Mars? Go to the moon first. Yeah, you heard me. Don't get me started on that whole fake moon landing in the 60s.

    February 25, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  2. Societalill

    Great, now the USA will think they own Mars too.

    February 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  3. Mike

    Wow, just think, by January 2018, we will have cured hunger, welfare fraud, everyone will have a place to live and a job working on the Mars project. Oh, and don't forget global warming...just think of all the food we can bring back, and all the Martian water we can drink, and another planet to ruin.

    February 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  4. Seth Hill

    It's not hard to get humans to Mars ... it's hard to get them back (because Mars' gravity is much stronger than our Moon's). I wonder ... if anyone would volunteer for a one-way trip?

    February 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • axel Segura


      February 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  5. jeff

    More power to them, but seriously.... If NASA started today, they could not meet a 2018 deadline.

    February 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  6. The_Mick

    People compare this to Columbus, but Columbus would have perished if the Americas weren't in the way of his attempted voyage to the Orient and if he had no means to turn around and head home until after he reached his target. Even at the very short period for an Earth-Mars round trip of around 500 days, you have to have redundant space ships: it would be amazing for one ship and landing craft making it there and back without a mishap. So you need two or three ships. You also have to overcome the problem of cosmic rays, which even with the protection of Earth's magnetic field have caused vision episodes in astronauts. And you need a year and a half's supply of oxygen, food, and fuel – not one week's worth for a trip to the Moon. Remember that the Moon seems distant at 0.240 million miles away. Mars is 50 million miles away at its CLOSEST to Earth – over 200 times farther than the Moon. So if we want to talk in terms of Columbus, instead of having to sail from Spain to the Caribbean and back, this would be like Columbus having to circle the Earth FOUR TIMES – with ALL necessities on board from the beginning.

    February 24, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  7. Tutuvabene

    And what will the travelers do once they get to Mars?

    February 24, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • palintwit

      If they're tea party patriots they'll build a trailer park and a nascar track.

      February 24, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  8. palintwit

    Someday we will be able to exile all birthers, teabaggers, and assorted Sarah Palin loving trailer trash to a detention colony on Mars. They will be allowed to keep their assault weapons so that they can blow their own brains out while drinking Everclear from mason jars.

    February 24, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  9. raul

    awsome can i go ? even if its a one way trip ill go!!!

    February 24, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  10. jrvinnh

    I see the biggest technical obstacle to a Mars mission with a human crew to be systems reliability. All of the critical equipment has to function reliably for about two years without any significant breakdowns or the crew is dead.

    Mars is roughly 100 times farther away than the moon. Missions to the moon took approximately two weeks. Missions to Mars will take one to two years. If something goes wrong, even just a few days or a month out, it won't be possible to safely get right back.

    A comparative example was the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. When the life support systems in the Command Module failed, the spacecraft looped around the moon and was home in about three days. The crew survived, but just barely. But if you have an Apollo 13 type of accident on a Mars mission the crew will likely end up dead.

    Complex machinery is often subject to breaking down and there is no repair shop in deep space. No place to pick up spare parts. You are stuck and have to totally rely with what you left home with. One significant equipment failure that the crew can't correct on their own and they are dead.

    February 24, 2013 at 4:40 am |
  11. Capone

    I love how people say its a waste of money. It shows how ignorant they are.

    Take the moon landing, for example. Was it a waste of money? The impact it had on our culture and the innovations that it created are priceless.

    It is because of space technology that we have miniaturization. And miniaturization led to microminiaturization. And microminiaturization led to subminiaturization.. Your smartphones, tablets, laptop/desktop computers, and flat screen TVs are all possible because of our efforts in space exploration.

    The need to go to the moon forced scientists to create new types of rubber that were resistant to extreme heat and cold, new alloys that were lighter and more durable, ceramics that were unbreakable, and plastics that wouldn't melt or disintegrate when subjected to heat. And then your conventional industries applied these new technologies to their businesses and we all reaped the commerical benefits from that.

    You would be amazed on how many things that you benefit from, that make life easier and more enjoyable, are due to space technology.

    February 24, 2013 at 2:04 am |
    • squincher

      Good points: but you are missing one huge side of the equation. The mission to the moon was 100% funded by the US Government, i.e. it's space & aeronautics agency, NASA. They (back in the day) had billions and billions (apologies to Carl Sagan!) of dollars at their disposal. Whatever Werner Von Braun and his teams needed, NASA readily provided.

      Hard to say how successful a private initiative would be on a threadbare budget.

      February 24, 2013 at 4:53 am |
  12. squincher

    Seriously, it's just another pipe dream. Yes, it is a private initiative, I'm aware of that. But how in hell or heaven's name are they going to raise the 100s of billions of dollars needed to successfully fund such a venture???

    Even if the Warren Buffett's and Bill Gates' put up sizable chunks of their fortunes, they would still fall, far short. And no self-respecting corporation is going to bet on this venture even if several patents and new tech come out of it.

    The odds of success are too tiny. The odds for mis-management of funds, even corruption are too great.... I hate to say it, but only a superpower government and/or a collaboration of the superpower and other allied governments could undertake such a massive, gargantuan endeavor.

    February 24, 2013 at 1:00 am |
  13. axel Segura

    Private money? if no NASA, whose gonna train the astronauts?
    I would advice to pick tom hanks. he already has experience.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  14. Neil Armstrong

    The Chinese will be the first to Mars.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  15. How to be better soccer player

    Thanks for another fantastic post. The place else may just anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect approach of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the search for such info.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  16. Paul

    Wow, bloggers will turn ANY articlie into a political debate...in that case..... I think we SHOULD explore Mars as a possible new home, since we'll need one after greed kills THIS planet (OIL! )...and we all know which party the selfish and greedy align with.

    February 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  17. Dean100343

    Obama can be pilot and Hillary can be co-pilot, please.

    February 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  18. JJ

    What a joke!
    I can't afford to drive cross country at these gas prices and we're talking about going to Mars?

    February 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  19. brown

    Your not going anywhere America except maybe to a bankruptcy hearing.

    China will rule the Earth and near planets for the next 200 years.

    Americans go back to eating yourselves to death and watching your Kardashian TV.

    Your Congress has guaranteed that your best days are behind you!



    February 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • axel Segura


      February 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • squincher

      You remind me of an old UPS commercial.......what can brown do for you?? brown can't even think for itself.......

      February 24, 2013 at 1:05 am |
  20. Phazon

    20 million to go to space for one man you know how much cancer research that could fund or how many starving children that can feed no one man has to fulfill his selfish desires.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • CBC

      How many starving children are your selfish desires responsible for?

      February 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  21. too bad

    its time to stop fighting and start dreaming together to get things done or should we turn this ship around and go back home. live long and prosper?

    February 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  22. uss.humanrace

    The human race has not matured and evolved to the next level of civilization..yet. That level is to put differences aside such as race, nationality, religion and ethinicty and to work together for the sake of human exploration and human colonization. When WE can reach that level and put ALL of our resources into space exploration, then I think WE can achieved so much more for mankind and OUR children's future. Until then we continue to wage war over resources when we should work together to get more resources.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  23. levy

    now what is the purpose of going to mars? waste of time and money if you ask me.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  24. Gervais

    Until mankind will stop thinking all about MONEY there will be no such thing as exploring the Mars and the Universe for the population.
    We should be working on new proplulsion engine,principle as Dr Von Bruan predicted years ago.
    All we can see it is a trip for billionnaires,,,

    February 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  25. blutbaddenbill

    They will not have nearly enough money to come close to doing this! it will take close to a trillion dollars to seriously even think about doing this and i can't see billionaires giving enough money up to do this,especially when they will never make money off of it,and the technology is nowhere close to ready for anybody to do this.look at the fuel alone.how are we gonna get enough fuel to get there? what about the astronauts? it will take at least 3 years to get there and back,they will either die or go insane after 6 years in space.they should put a base on the moon,and then start thinking about mars!

    February 23, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  26. David

    I'd like to think that this is yet another debate between young and old with the oldsters arguing "We need to balance the budget, austerity is good" and youngsters arguing "The human journey has just begun. Just because your massive cohort's time is running out doesn't mean humanity can turn its back on the riddles of our universe"

    That sort of assumes that the Gen X and Y are similar - which they aren't, because Gen X grew up on creative technology of discovery (early PC era) while Gen Y grew up in the "technology=toys" era.

    I'd be willing to wager that most of the pro-Mars crowd are late-30s and early 40s guys like myself, who are little bit scared about what we'll see happen to our country over the coming decades.

    Can America get its groove back? I sure hope so.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  27. helenka costas

    until I looked at the bank draft which was of $7773, I accept that...my... neighbours mother was truly bringing home money part time on their computer.. there friend brother haz done this less than twenty three months and just now repayed the loans on there cottage and purchased a great new Lancia. I went here, ...... BIT40.ℂOℳ

    February 23, 2013 at 8:00 am |
  28. pnm9pnm

    as the place well be called marden,.pnm,.

    February 23, 2013 at 4:47 am |
  29. Cacalips

    SCAM/ Obama shut down space programs in the name of globalists to shut down civil progress. Like many of his acts. The "billionairs" are just throwing up false dreams so we start to have this "hope" and dependence on them, like their other products. Welcom to scientific progress of the new world order.

    February 23, 2013 at 4:14 am |
  30. Mars4Morons

    Whats all this MARS talk? What we need to do is to invade Iran! we need more battle tanks and battle ships! We need to frack more for cheap gasoline. 99cents is the only price for us!

    February 23, 2013 at 1:57 am |
  31. hellatight

    If they're telling us that they plan on a manned mission to mars five years from now, that means we already established a base there 20 years ago, according to the NSA and need-to-know laws. But keep your head in the sand, it's good for business.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:53 am |
  32. Andy H.

    LETS GO!!!!

    February 23, 2013 at 12:11 am |
  33. blaze562

    Mission control we have an absolute failed 50,000.00 toilet, requesting permission to return home. I gots to takes a dump.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
  34. Jimmy Moore

    Oh yes, because we haven't wasted enough money yet on things that don't make life better on earth.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  35. Jesús Herrera

    The right kind of leadership that President Obama lacks

    February 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  36. BMPguy

    They never solved zero G the bone loss and muscle loss problems...so that by the time that astronauts get to Mars...they'll be just like jelly fish and essentially useless...I mean do you know what state the international space station astronauts are in when they come back to earth...they need immediate medical attention upon landing and it takes months for them to recover. So how exactly are they going to explore that brave new planet in that state.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  37. lou

    any news of this nature is good news to me. However would it not be prudent to concentrate resources on some sort of moon base with the intent to colonize?

    February 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  38. Wizza

    That whole touchdown thing seems a little risky- 7 seconds of terror, etc. No practical way to land much weight there safely and consistently. 5- years. Uhhh. Not likely.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  39. Nolan

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    It's the little changes that make the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    February 22, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  40. terminaldogma75

    The only way I can see something like this 'flying' so to speak is to have it operate as some sort of commercial venture, a little like the mining ventures talked about with regards to the moon from time to time. Of course that opens up a whole different kettle of fish.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  41. bro

    what is so important about mars when our own country is falling apart

    February 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  42. Phoenix

    Reblogged this on Serendipitous Beginnings and commented:
    Star Trek is almost here, folks...

    February 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  43. Nexus

    I’ve just read an article about a man living for 11 years in a coffin sized big city ‘apartment’ in which he could sit-up but not stand. Most than probable, he slept and rested in that thing, but surely spent at least half of the day out of it to work, walk, shop, etc. So, with an additional – even temporary – space for exercising, it could be doable for these 501 days. Even a single person could do it; a second one is only needed for assistance in case of biological malfunction.
    On the other hand, a technological malfunction is much more probable!

    February 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  44. Greg Faith

    I've always said that private space travel will be the best way to get to where you want to go in the future of space travel. There are huge profits to be gained once the corporations get up there and start making money. Next step for the human race.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  45. Blinded by Science

    I think it is noble or worthy that a few billionares and dot.com millionares want to send a mission to Mars, however, I think it is going to take a nation not a few individuals to make a mission to Mars....just like with the NASA mission to the moon.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  46. Keith B Rosenberg

    Considering that no Mars capable and man-rated spacecraft. and all of the related equipment needed, exists or is even being made, it is a bit of a stretch to think humans will go to Mars in only 5 years. Bits and pieces exist, but the integrated systems needed do not.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  47. LongBeachBum

    To me this guy is just showboating and could not do it in 5 years if his life depended on it. First they need to determine if there is water there. Second the only reasonable way is to build the ship in space. That way one could be built big enough for people to live on. Third a return vehicle would be needed to land and return to the ship. Last but not least the infrastructure is not in place to do this and it would take 10 years or more to make it happen. Fly around, maybe, land, never.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  48. Culpepper

    Cut the expense of a trip to Mars in half by making it a one-way trip. You would still have no shortage of astronauts who would be willing to make the trip

    February 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  49. Blinded by Science

    I think many people here are a little impatient and not pratical. We would all love to go to Mars tomorrow, however, the truth of the matter is that interplentary or intergalantic space travel may be decades or hundreds or years in the future. It is going to take lots of research and plenty off $$$$$.

    February 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  50. timelord7202

    Given that government projects for NASA (g-force, solar shields) let to private industry selling "memory foam" and "transitions sunglasses", amongst plenty of other goodies, government has always been involved in helping the "free market". So it's just more than taxpayer-funded subsidies...

    February 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  51. svann

    It cost him $20 million to go to the space station – as a hitchhiker. There is no way he and all his friends together can pay for a mission to mars. It would cost literally billions, and would probably result in their deaths.

    February 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      The sky is falling the sky is falling! Dragon already docks with Space Station. They are not crazy, this will happen.

      February 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm |

      are passengers on a train or airlines hitchhikers? or when some rents a car? I think not. He paid 20mill which paid for the whole thing or darn close to it.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  52. Blinded by Science

    Not likely. We are bumming rides the the space station from Russia. Until we get our finaces in order and can afford to fully fund NASA and build a vehicle capable of going to Mars, we are going nowhere. I don't see this happening in the next 10 yrs...maybe 20.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Just plain blind

      This article isn't about "we". It's about a PRIVATE COMPANY trying to get to Mars.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Blinded by Science

        i don't think any private company is going to be abel to cough up the many of billions required to fund a mission to Mars especially since there is no commercial payoff. How are they going to raise that kind of money, sell advertise space? I think this is pie in the sky.

        February 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  53. Buck Rogers

    Since my query has been deleted twice because evidently it strikes a chord with the upper echelons at NASA, I will post one more time....

    Will NASA use the same Nevada butte they used for the fraudulent lunar landings and simply change the hues for a fake Mars landing?

    February 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • constant reader

      The moon landing was real. It's the world you live in that's fake.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • The Jackdaw

        Thank you. Moon Hoaxers drive me crazy.

        February 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Blinded by Science

      The flat earth society is calling you...hopefully collect. You conspiracy nuts never fail to amaze me. I suppose the Columbia and Challenger disasters were all elaborate fakes also.

      February 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  54. AreWeThereYet?

    For every step we move forward there will be slackers asking to catch up. If we choose to catch them up we would never advance, since slacking is a trait of human.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  55. Jerry Okamura

    Should the government be spending money to explore space, when it is spending money it does not have?

    February 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      First, this mission is funded by private money, not NASA’s. Secondly, every dollar that has been spent by NASA has brought back $2 to the US economy. So should they spend? YES!!!!!

      February 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Read the darn article

      What does your question have to do with the article? HINT: Nothing.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  56. The Jackdaw

    Wow, look at all the stupid on here. Its amazing that some of you can logon to your computers.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  57. Peter Q Wolfe

    I agree that our government is disfunctional that means malinvestment not lack of forethought on NASA's part. I truly believe that that the U.S needs to invest more in R and D that NASA is one such vehicle to spur future innovations in STEM fields. I disagree that the government is solely to blame, however, private businesses even give much credit to NASA for out which none of their grand ideas would not have grown fruit.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  58. roccop777

    Another "pie in the sky" pipe dream disguised as science. It promises to be just as "successful" as the SETI project has been - gobbling up lots of mony and what have they discovered? Zilch! When I was a kid in the early 60's scientists were projecting multiple space stations by the year 2000 which produce their own gravity like in Star Trek (remember, they resembled big wheels). And here in 2013 we have a single space station just barely out of earth orbit and they have a very hard time keeping it repaired and manned! Oh, forget the artificial gravity - those who stay for an extended time on the intenational space station suffer serious muscle and bone degeneration to the point that they can barely walk when they land back on earth. And the international space station benefits from a lot of protection from solar storms via our earth atmosphere. Now NASA knows that it was playing Russian roulette taking the puddle jump to our moon (approx. 3 days). If there had been a solar storm or eruption in our direction they would have been fried. Now send space explorers out to Mars on a one way 6-9 month trip in open space - that makes Russian roulette look like a safe past time.
    I know I will get blasted by many of you for doubting all-powerful, boundless science - but get back to me in 2018 and have the honesty to admit that this was yet another example of man's vainglory on display.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      SETI gobbles up $$??? SETI runs for a year on the money it takes to build just one of your attack helicopters, helicopters that seem to crash daily and nobody seems to care. Discovery money is zilch while money to blow people up is endless. Let’s spend money on something positive for a change instead of destructive, short sighted and ultimately stupid.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • WIRENUT

        the reason we aren't as advanced as we dreamed is cause mismanagement of funds(NOT BY NASA). instead of putting money in advancing our spaceflight, we have been putting into our military weapons. For the past 30 yrs we've relied solely on the shuttles for our manned space flight, why ? NASA wasn't funded well enough to develop anything new. why was that ? it was better to a stealth bombers and fighters then to a better space vehicle, it was better to invade Iraq for imagined WMds then to have a better space vehicle. but this really doesn't matter cause this article isn't about our government going to mars it's about a private company making the trip. oh yea if you supported the wars you are at fault.

        February 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
      • The Jackdaw

        I think you are trying to agree with me....

        February 25, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • doughnuts

      It's because of people like you that we don't have multiple space stations, permanent bases on the Moon, and manned missions to Mars.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • roccop777

        So now it's my fault for torpedoing the space programm by refusing to be brainwashed by an illusion and just pointing to the scientific facts? Get back to me in 2018 and you'll probably blame me because no humans have traveled to Mars, there is still no space station on the moon, Vulcans with pointed ears haven't been discovered and the "real" Darth Vader hasn't made an appearance on earth. Grow up and address the really important questions in life, like, whether we are the product of a cosmic accident - or, if this is no accident then what is purpose in our existence!

        February 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
      • The Jackdaw

        No drop of water blames itself for the flood.

        February 25, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  59. IntergalaticFart

    Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it's cold as hell.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  60. MaryM

    I wanna go. Where do I sign up

    February 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Lisa W


      February 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
  61. The Right Stuff

    The government is disfunctional, which is WHY our space industry hasn't already taken us to Mars and beyond. Those of us dedicated to science and engineering know we've solved the problems of the past, and fuel the discovery of the future. How ironic it is, that those who can't understand science and engineering, would preach to those of us who do.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • IntergalaticFart

      Yeah sure I too are a rocket scientist, related to Einstein, except it's not clear if it's Al or Bagles.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  62. nrt

    ...this will not happen by 2018...fuel, the spacecraft engineering and construction and testing, food, water, life support systems, astronaut training and prep, maybe 2030, maybe by China, but not 2018...sorry folks, this is reality not star wars CGI

    February 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • doughnuts

      A Mars mission could have launched in the early 1980s if Tricky Dick hadn't chosen the Shuttle Program instead.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  63. palintwit

    Tea Party Patriots believe that if man was meant to go to Mars god wouldn't have given us lungs.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • IntergalaticFart

      You got me laughing so hard I pharted out a tax-n-spend Democrat.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • palintwit

        Did you mess your pants again?

        February 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • IntergalaticFart

        Naah, it was just smelly hot air

        February 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  64. JLA

    In case no one's noticed, we're broke. We have a president and congress that's turned what used to be an economic and technological power house into a welfare state and 3rd rate loser. The only way we'll ever get to Mars is to hitch a ride on a Russian or (in the near future) a Chinese rocket, the same thing we now have to do to get to the international space station. From the 1st nation to land a man on the moon we've come to this ....

    February 22, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • IntergalaticFart

      Who's "we"? This article is about a private company trying to raise funding to get to Mars. You have nothing to do with it.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm |

      you mean we had a president, the current one is trying to fix what the last one F'd up

      February 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  65. Dan

    well I think we should abandon the space program
    because the humans can't live like a civilized society here in this fck planet
    so spread our model to be around the Universe it will be tragedy..!!

    February 22, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Kerry

      Okay. You stay here and stick your head in the sand, and the rest of us will advance our society

      February 22, 2013 at 11:52 am |

      I think it will teach us how to live in peace with each other for our lives would depend each other. it might be the only way we don't wipe ourselves out

      February 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  66. Buck Rogers

    Will NASA use the same Nevada butte they used for the fake lunar landings in order to fake Mars and just change the hues to red?


    February 22, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • IntergalaticFart

      cool story bro

      February 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Did you eat a lot of paint chips when you were a kid?

      February 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  67. Kerry

    People sure do like to write stuff before they read the article.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  68. Jerry

    This will never happen if Obamalooney decides to proclaim HIMSELF King of América!

    Oh well...

    February 22, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  69. Peter Q Wolfe

    If the medifore applies that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then does that mean that humans are gay? If so that I'm all onboard with the idea of going to Mars! Corny jokes a past time in America especially in my head!

    February 22, 2013 at 11:29 am |

    Good..another planet to screw up.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  71. svann

    $20 million is peanuts compared to what it would cost him to go to mars.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  72. Chuck Norris

    There's no need to goto Mars; I've already been there. That's why there is no life.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • doughnuts

      Bruce Lee called. He said he kicked you a$$ without even working up a sweat. He said it was so easy to kick your a$$ that his feet got bored.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • Chuck Norris

        His feet must really be bored now then... You know, being dead and all.

        February 25, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  73. John-117

    Waste of money! There are millions of lazy white and black trash who need welfare and food stamps! Spend out money on handouts!

    February 22, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  74. Peter Q Wolfe

    I can't believe somebody would think NASA is a waste of money. The same agency that brought us 1500 patents, encouraged education in STEM fields and careers, facilitated foreign policy and countless other things. NASA isn't even a percent of the government, yet you conservatives demonize that and foreign aid just pathetic.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  75. Wish they had 3 hands

    Remember how in the movie Total Recall that chick on Mars had 3 bubes? That's why they're going.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • DavidinCorpus

      I like how you said bubbbes. Just like the middle schoolers out of south park.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:27 am |

    I hope my great grandchildren will be around for the first war between earthlings and our martian brothers.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  77. da

    already volunteered to go oneway. cheaper trip. money? Money is nothing more than a construct. Something we value and need to live in this construct society. The way most people are thinking. Money will shortly mean nothing anyway. It will all be about survival. Fancy house, fancy car, fancy clothes, Nannies, butlers manservants, will soon mean nothing. Boy people sure have de-volved since I have been alive, 99.99 percent of these post sound completely retarted and counter-productive. And I know people like the nice stuff. but really. You rely on PVT enterprise to do it all, all the benefits will be for pvt enterprise and no others. You all will be wanting to trade in your trophy girl friends for a fat plump russian woman with winter fat to make it through the nuclear winters.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • desenuts

      cool story bro

      February 22, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • pot marries kettle

      "99.99 percent of these post sound completely retarted "...oh yeah, and your own post is F'in brilliant, you "retart".

      February 22, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  78. redbaron120288

    good. a little late, but finally. humans should have set foot on mars back in the 80's. weve had the tech, just not enough money or will. I cannot wait for the day when us humans become a multi planet race. that will open up a whole new frontier for us.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Owl96

      We had the technology in the 80's? We did not even have all the radiation measurements then, let alone the technology to build the proper light weight shields. We had a ship that carried three men, and a low Earth Orbiter. We still have not proven that we can land supplies year after year, and we have no proven system that take off from Mars for a return mission. We can develope that, and I am sure we will. But we did not have all the pieces in the 80's and do not have them today either.

      February 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  79. Josh

    A 501 day round trip, doesn't really leave any time for a landing.

    Are they planning a brief landing? Or is this like an Apollo 8 orbit-and-return mission?

    February 22, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  80. Dekester

    This is one of those ego things. Go there just to say we did? Makes no sense. You can't live there. It would be just like going to the Moon to live. What's the point. The only advantage there might be would be that a new propulsion system is invented that we could use here on earth. So, why not just invent one and use it. Why go to Mars? The fact is that eventually Earth will be no longer habitable. It will burn out just as Mars did. Humans would have to find a new place to inhabit and we would need a Noah's Ark type craft to do that. This is the only (unspoken) reason to go anywhere.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • redbaron120288

      well true we cant live there now, but in theory we can build an atmosphere. the fact is, it is a human trait to want to know things. to explore the unknown. and fact 2 the earth cannot sustain this big of a population forever. one day were gonna need more room, minerals, and everything else we remove from this planet. therefore the only answer is to get more real estate.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      every journey begins with the first step.
      The more we push out the more we learn. We cant go from moon landing to an ark in space without the steps inbetween.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  81. Also...

    Not happening.
    The whole thing suggests that the mission either has access to a nonexistant super-rocket to get everything up at once, or intends to build the rocket in space with multiple launches. The ISS took over a hundred billion dollars and more than a dozen launches to pull off. A single Mars mission, even if one way, it bound to have a similar price tag. 20 million for a Soyuz ride is one thing, I can see a millionaire willing to pay for that. 100 billion? No chance, not this decade.

    Maybe in 40-70 years once Commercial Space Flight has advanced enough and brought the costs down.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  82. Brune Mars

    No funding for the program now but in just 5 years it's blastoff to Mars? If it actually happens, it won't be manned.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      This is a private company, not NASA.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  83. sparky

    *Sigh* When will reporters learn to ignore the publicity stunts? NASA went to the moon by planning for ten years and spending 4% of the national GDP during that time. In other words, spending huge cash and with the pedal to the metal, it took ten years.

    They built the biggest rocket in history to get there. They took huge numbers of engineers and scientists to build it.

    The Mars rocket would have to be MUCH bigger than that, even for a fuel-saving 18-month trip. In 501 days? That rocket would be the size of a small city. In other words, it will never exist. Especially if he says it's going to be ready in five years.

    This guy might as well say, "I'm rich, so I'm going to jump off the Empire State Building to Mars." It makes that much sense.

    Shame on CNN for reporting the story, without adding ANY analysis.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • doughnuts

      Typical Mars-mission plans with current technology have round-trip times of 400 to 450 days.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • bthorn64@suddenlink.net

      NASA invented the necessary rockets, spacecraft, engines, life support, communications systems, and spacesuits in 8 1/2 years because it had to. They did not exist in 1961.

      Today they do exist, or very nearly exist. SpaceX's unmanned Dragon has already flown three times, and the manned version could fly as early as 2015 (if sequestration does not cut the budget, which it probably will) three years before the Mars mission departs. SpaceX claims that Dragon's heat shield is already sufficient for re-entering at deep space return velocity. The most likely launch vehicle is the Falcon Heavy, which can launch over 115,000 lbs into Earth orbit at a cost of about $120 million. It is scheduled for first flight later this year. Two or three Falcon Heavies can launch a similar mass as a single Apollo Saturn V, and will still cost less than the $1 billion per launch Saturn V. Remember, this proposed Mars mission does not need to be as gigantic as plans in the past, because this mission is only a Mars flyby: it will not brake into Mars orbit (expensive in fuel) or land on Mars (requiring a very expensive Mars lander and return vehicle.) A Mars mission launched in January 2018 will naturally return to Earth ("free return") in May 2019.

      February 24, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  84. Lisa W

    http://mars-one dotcom/en/faq-en/21-faq-selection/251-do-i-qualify-to-apply

    February 22, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • sparky

      This website makes Kickstarter look organized.

      I'll set up a website for $20 bucks, too. Now I'm just as much a space pioneer as you are.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • Lisa W

        You don't have to like the website. A NASA worker gave me the link, and said he was considering applying. I argued against it.

        February 22, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
      • NoMissionForYouMister

        Apparently you didn't follow the last bullet point under "Creativity/Resourcefulness" which states "You are aware of different forms of creativity." You fail. No mission for you.

        February 23, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • RBN

        Too many of todays websites are stuffed with every bell and whistle they can find. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should. I, for one, can appreciate the clean look of the Mars-One website.

        February 24, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • Moose

      Got to love these people, along with that shuttle idiot kelly they have no idea what they are doing every time they push one of these things into space to the ozone layer.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  85. Frank

    What a waste of money. Wait until we balance the budget please.

    February 22, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • julnor

      It's private money.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • xcopy

        You need to read the last 4 lines. Knucklehead

        February 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • brian

        @XCopy – You need to read the entire article. It is a private venture. Regardless of whether they know how they will fund it, it is still going to be private money.

        February 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Chaos

        "You need to read the last 4 lines. Knucklehead"

        You need to read the entire article. Knucklehead.

        February 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • Ivan

        First, go to moon if they can

        February 23, 2013 at 2:52 am |
      • Markus

        While it's supposedly privately funded, it'll actually never get funded. The costs are going to be in the 10's of billions, if not 100's of billions, and there is no guarantee that the mission will even be a success. From a business standpoint the risk is just too high even though there will likely be several patents that come out of the research/development leading up to such a mission.

        A manned mission to Mars will require government funding and will likely have to be an international effort. The USA isn't really committed to funding NASA and other countries aren't going to commit either. We're far more interested in blowing things up and feeding corruption.

        February 23, 2013 at 3:23 am |
    • Larry

      Same thing was said when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Turned out pretty good for most of us mius the natives.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:14 am |
      • Vuppe

        Poor Martians.

        February 22, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • DavidinCorpus

        We should make friends initially with the martians and then leave. We can then return after about a year or so and they will all be dead from smallpox, flu, ear/nose/throat infection. It IS GONNA ROCK baby.
        I hear it is cold there, we can hook 'em up with some ebola blankets as well.

        February 22, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • widow

      This just shows the stupidity of people.. Are you aware that basically all the electronic gismos including the personal computer were born because of the mission to mars? It spurred a technology growth.. It was the start of the personal computer.. Do you have any clue how long it would have been for the PC to be born if not for the mission to the moon and billions spent all thanks to IBM and the tax payers? Any Idea how many trillions of dollars that has made for the economy since then? Also in this case it is going to be funded privately... That is basically what Newt Gingrich was trying to say when he ran but he took the assumption the american people would know he was referring to technology growth as well as inspirational growth during a time of hardship we are facing. It would have created government jobs and sustainability.. Something the current administration knows NOTHING about. Actually I am pretty sure Obama doesn't even know the word sustainability even exists let alone the meaning

      February 22, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • Cedar Rapids

        you started off so well but then had to end it with some pin head nonsense comment about Obama

        February 22, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • aktap

        You all most had me siding with you. until you just had to shove me through the looking glass into the underworld of Fox and friends!

        February 22, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • Canada

        He's got a great point. And he's just emotional about the Obama thing I wouldve voted for Obama(If I was an American) only because he's the lesser of two evils. But I don't think he's doing a good job. now it could be the obstructionists, But if it were, I feel he would be more vocal about it, especially dirung the election. But this guy is right. The space race launched our economy.

        February 22, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • OUT FOX EM

        You start off by calling people stupid, and then you say the personal computer came from missions to Mars. You do realize that we've never been to Mars, correct?

        But, like you said, this just show the "stupidity" of people.

        February 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • crabman

        mission to mars????? please explain

        February 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • franklovesfl

        OUT FOX EM: Or should I call you 'MSNBC TROLL'. Seriously? You don't think we've orbited and landed machines on Mars?

        February 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • WIRENUT

        read widow's post the mariner space mission/probe google it

        February 22, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
      • widow is a crappy american

        If Gingrich had gotten his way he would have run up the deficit the same way Bush thought a war would stimulate the economy, only to tank it, and then loose-screwed lunatics like you turn around about bemoan Obama running up the deficit, though he ended the war that ran the deficit up. you morons are just too freaking rich. Thank God your kind is dying out. .

        February 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
      • Stephen

        "widow" wrote: "Are you aware that basically all the electronic gismos including the personal computer were born because of the mission to mars?"

        Are you sure you don't mean the Apollo LUNAR missions?

        February 23, 2013 at 2:04 am |
      • JIMZ TAKE

        While widow probably should have referred to the lunar missions, her statements resonate the truth in all other senses. The silliness of people to skip over much of the article and not realize it will be privately funded just speaks to their education or attention level. As far as the politics, Republicans & Democrats are rich alike, and like to keep it that way, just in what ever manner suits them best - every hear of WHITEWATER? Slick Willy (Bill Clinton for you young ones) made millions off of crap. Be careful of throwing rocks when you live in a glass house. BOTTOM LINE – The rich want to keep the middle & lower class down just as it has gone on for hundreds of years going back to medieval times, just not as barbaric, but still as effective!

        February 25, 2013 at 5:55 am |

        Sir you are the stupidity, there is no such thing as mars. Mars is chocolate.

        February 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • ShawnDH

      What an absurd comment. First of all, this is private money. Secondly, the idea that there should be no scientific discovery or exploration until the budget is balanced to your standards is ridiculous. Third, I'm sure you support higher taxes and ending corporate handouts so the budget can be balanced, right? Probably not, so stop whining about it until you are serious. Thanks.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • bmurdoc

      What an extremely sad and ignorant thing to say. I can only hope that you don't have children.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Bill39

      I haven't seen any adequate justification for the costs and risks. What could a manned visit accomplish that a robot can't? I assume this would be US funding.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • JetScreamer


        February 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Markus

        A robot can only find what it's programmed to find and it has a very limited set of tools on top of that. Humans, on the other hand, can take a look around and immediately spot something of interest. Even with humans remotely controlling the rovers it's very limited in what it can look at considering the length of time it takes to move them around, analyze specimens, send/receive transmissions, and going through the data. There is really no comparison between a robot and a human explorer (say a geologist). A human explorer would be FAR more productive.

        Having said that it's probably too soon for a manned mission to Mars. The costs are going to be astronomical and there isn't a whole lot to really gain from a manned mission at this point. The only reason we should be going to Mars is to if we're serious about establishing a base there, and we just don't have the technology to cost effectively transport materials. At some point in the future we could send "robots" to build structures using local materials, but we're a long way from even having that capability.

        The chances of this being privately funded are slim to none. The cost will be in the 10 of billions, if not hundreds of billions.

        February 23, 2013 at 3:10 am |
    • Cooramoor

      A: Provate money
      B: Exploration is key to being human.
      C: Learn fool!

      February 22, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • irunner

      Crawl back in your cave Frank. Leave progress to the rest of us.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • sftommy

      What a bad joke: "Wait 'till we balance the budget...."

      February 22, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Megadave

      Uh, yeah, it's private money. The way it -should- be. I guess.

      February 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • T

      "Balance the budget ?" PLEASE !....
      That would take decades – if they EVER accomplish it (yeah, right !) , we and our kids would be long gone from this world and we would never see the Mars mission accomplished in our lifetime.

      By the way, it's PRIVATE FUNDING !

      February 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Chris

      Well actually it it not a waste in money. If you do a little research on the subject you will know that investing in space also produces technologies for us on earth. The mission to the moon in the 60's put 100's of new technologies like cordless power tools and MRI's. Also the funding for NASA and the space program in 1/10 of 1 penny of every tax dollar the government takes in so if you want to cut the budget there are better places to cut it.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • justfakinit

        the prob is that i bet that the diehard liberal/demoturd is probably one who believes that hole moon landing thing was faked and that everything that "supposedly" came out of it, somehow just mysteriously appeared. They cannot believe that anything good comes out of space research/development. (no matter who does it .. the gov and/or private sector).. they would rather see that money gobbled up by the gov to help provide more handouts to those who don't need it.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • tim

      Can you read?

      February 23, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • we342

      Yes we should spend our money on much more important things, such as multi million dollar jets that can't fly.

      February 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Nathan

      Regardless of how much money is spent on this mission, it is not wasted. Every dollar spent on the mission is spend here on earth and spent back into the global economy rather than being hoarded in a bank account. The only thing we loose in the event of mission failure is the physical resources and lives put into the mission. The spacecraft, technology and people going on the mission are the only things at risk of waste. The private wealth implied in this article will transfer from wealthy bank accounts down through businesses that provide the resources and materials for this mission to be possible. Those businesses spend some of that money to pay their employees, who spend their money in the grocery stores and McDonalds and other menial wage job providing businesses, so in the end the money is not "wasted", it is merely redistributed down to recirculate through the economy like it is suposed to and will eventually end back up in some wealthy bank account to wait to fund the next venture.

      February 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
  86. MrId

    What they need is to get some Mexicans on Mars. They'd have that place read for colonization in half the time at half the price!

    February 22, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • El Senor

      Orale Cabron! you're right on the money.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  87. Lisa W

    This is real. I saw the weblink. They are not yet accepting applicants, and they said it will be a one way trip. As in, the people will live their lives out on Mars, making a colony. They are accepting ages 18 to 40. They want to knwo what an applicant can add to the program.

    February 22, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • sparky

      This is not real. You have no real sponsors. You have no rocket.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • rhobere

        at what point did she say anything about it being her mission? It IS a real effort and it has received national and international attention. It IS credible. It is not, however, the same mission that this article is talking about. Is it really that hard to believe that there's more than just an excentric billionaire trying to get to another planet?

        February 22, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • CRUZ

      You are thinking of a completely different program I believe.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Owl96

      I am 63, too old to go. But if it is a one-way trip, before I left, I would want to see them land two supply ships withing 1 mile of each other.

      February 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  88. Bobdobalina

    If it's private money...go ahead whether it's in the time frame alloted or not.....if they can get to Mars then frig it and go....LIfe is an adventure...and I would like to see something great like this in my lifetime.....

    February 22, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Steve-O

      I think they had better plan an unmanned mission and see if they can bring it back to Earth safely. Unless they are planning on using people with terminal diseases so they don't have to bring them back.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:43 am |
      • chris

        Im healthy, single, only 25, and be willing to go for free. When jan 2018 comes il be 29, il have a birthday 2 months after that which would be great publicity for them and be a great present for me. If something happens to me no extra cost to them, If i make it back I can make a living off my story and media. Win win for both sides

        February 22, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • JeramieH

        The New World wasn't settled by people only with terminal diseases.

        February 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • CBC

        We all have a "terminal disease". The question is how you want to spend the time you have left. Apparently you would spend your remaining years on your couch hoping nothing ever happens to you.

        February 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  89. Mariya

    Such global things as future growth, national prosperity, new knowledge and global leadership don`t depend on what we do for space explorations...goverment must pay more attention on social neccesseries!

    February 22, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • dATRUTH

      You are so completely and totally wrong its hilarious. ALL of those things are linked to scientific explorations of space. I would beg you to consider that you are ignorant on the topic.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:17 am |
      • Will

        Did you hear that Mariya? Professor Moron, internet Ph.d, told you you're wrong. Don't you feel bad?

        February 22, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • Will

        Did you hear that Mariya? Professor M0ron, internet Ph.d, told you you're wrong. Don't you feel bad?

        February 22, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Mariya

        You can spend all your life on space explorations and find nothing in the end!!! There are lot`s of interesting things what you can explore on our planet!!!Look around)

        February 22, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • harmbringer


      there are rocks floating out in space.. that are miles arcoss made of nearly pure iron.. other rocks with gold, nickle, you name it. pretty much every metal we grub at the earth for.. can be found floating out in the astroid belt..

      Just think what bringing just one mile or two astroid made of iron back to earth would do for the world.. that one rock could feed the worlds need for metal for what a year? two?

      why waste time grubbing at the ground for what little we can find.. when millions upon millions of tons of pretty much very metal, ore humanity could ever want or need.. are floating around in space?

      February 22, 2013 at 10:25 am |
      • Chris

        You've watched to much Star Wars and Star Trek. The USA has abandoned its NASA program for more economical endeavors.

        This administration is in campaign mode 24/7 and not really interested in science or technology beyond lip service to the sheeple. They cancelled the Constellation program, cancelled two wars (good thing), and raised taxes only to redistribute those funds to the 47% that are just to lazy to work. The kind of people that sit around smoke weed all day, collect welfare, food stamps, disability, Obama phones, etc.

        The days of the USA being a world leader in space exploration, science, technology, learning and a motivated populace are long over. We have become a nation of fat lazy, wimps.

        February 24, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • bfpiercelk

      A solid majority of the current social prosperity in the 1st world was BUILT on exploitation of resources in new territories and markets and the technologies and discoveries made during that journey.

      It WASN'T built on liberal arts and 'looking at the beauty of nature'.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • SassyCakes

        Liberal arts give us the foundation to critically think and become great scientists. This is why good education includes a foundation of music, painting, reading and thought lessons. This is what successful adults received from childhood through high school.

        February 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • timelord7202

      Given that government projects for NASA (g-force, solar shields) let to private industry selling "memory foam" and "transitions sunglasses", amongst plenty of other goodies, government has always been involved in helping the "free market". So it's just more than taxpayer-funded subsidies...

      February 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Most of our new knowledge, and a lot of our national (and international) prosperity can be directly linked to the space program. Everything that utilizes or involves miniaturized electronics and computers grew directly out of the space program. If a material is very light-weight, fire-retardant, or is an excellent insulator it can probably trace it's lineage straight to a NASA program.

      And just where is it that all the money spent and invested in techniques, information, and hardware for the space program goes? Was it spent in outer space? No, it was spent right here. It was employing tens of thousands of people. It was pumped into hundreds of local economies, and used to clothe, feed, shelter, and educate even more tens of thousands of family members.

      If you wanted to, you could call NASA one of the most successful jobs programs in history.

      February 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  90. Pazuzu

    Put a man on Mars but we can't stop illegal immigration.

    February 22, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • patrick

      i think you may be looking at that question backwards.

      if the incredible vastness and terrible hazards of space cant stop mans desire to go wherever he want .......how could a few guys in uniform and a fence in the dessert?

      February 22, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  91. weezer

    For those whining about the cost: Without Man's attraction and need for adventure and exploration you would still be living in a grass hut in Africa. It is not only part of our being, but it is necessary to our survival.

    February 22, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • RWG

      RIGHT ON! Thanks.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Howard

      Exploration is fine, but why not have save the cost of human exploration for when there's something that REQUIRES a human? Fantasies about terra-forming Mars are just that ... utter fantasies. Terra-forming requires creating an atmosphere. Mars has no atmosphere because it is a dead planet; it's core can no longer generate a magnetic field to repel the solar wind that blew away the atmosphere it once had.

      If scientific knowledge is what we're after, then robotic explorers can get more science and knowledge for far less cost. And we don't have to have a national day of mourning when a robotic explorer "dies" en route to its destination or crashes on arrival. The truth is, we can barely keep the ISS in orbit what with all the repairs and maintenance it constantly needs. Once a human inhabited craft leaves for Mars, its occupants will be sh!t out of luck if any major problems develop.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • mrnatedog

        terraforming mars is not a fantasy it is possible it would just take a very long time (like 100 – 200 years) and a lot of money but it is physically possible

        February 22, 2013 at 9:45 am |
      • btechno

        We can drill down to the core and use a giant nuke to get the rotation started again, just like in that terrible movie!

        February 22, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Jigga

      And who told you living in a grass hut in Africa was a bad thing you loud mouths tr00l?

      February 22, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Natty Dread

      And that would be bad how? The Africans living in the grass hut at least are innocent of much of what our modern, western world is guilty of. Such as weapons of mass destruction, pollution of our environment, complex,convoluted social systems, etc.,etc. The argument is that humans have not figured out how to live on this earth sustainably let alone on other planets. "Your runnin and your runnin and your runnin away, but you can't run away from yourself" – Bob Marley.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • Howard

        We have learned how to swim underwater like fish, how to fly through the air like birds, how to soar through space like gods ... now, if only we could learn to walk the earth ... like men.

        February 22, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Jim

        Except for the fact that people "living in grass huts" probably burn wood, cut down trees and plants, kill animals, etc and contribute to environmental pollution in some way just like everyone else on Earth (maybe not as much as some living in the Western world but I would hardly call them "innocent" to pollution). They also don't have the benefits of modern medicine, living life with minimal disease and the ability to treat simple illnesses that once killed most people who contracted them. As well as the ability to eat a healthy, balanced diet without having to physically exhaust oneself, leading to a much shorter life expectancy, and a body beat up and sore. Overall quality of life has improved drastically because of the advancements humans have made. I don't think the "living in a grass hut" lifestyle is nearly as idealistic as you make it sound.

        February 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • the doctor

      people are still living in grass huts in africa

      February 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  92. Tom

    Just go to Australia instead, it's close enough.

    Seriously, there will be no manned landing on Mars in 2018. We can't even get to the moon these days.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:41 am |
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