Dennis Tito Plans 501 day Manned Mars Trip starting Jan 2018 – Believed to be Free Return Mars Flyby

The Inspiration Mars Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization led by American space traveler and entrepreneur Dennis Tito, will have a Feb 27, 2013 press conference detailing its plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018. 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.

Free Return manned Flyby of Mars

New space Journal has more info

The mission would involve a flyby of Mars with a free return back to Earth, without stopping. That type of low-energy trajectory requires a special set of orbital circumstances: The presentation says those circumstances exist for the 2018 opportunity but won’t repeat until 2031. Two astronauts living in spartan conditions could make the 501-day trip in a modified SpaceX Dragon capsule, launched by SpaceX’s yet-to-be-flown Falcon Heavy rocket.

Feasibility Analysis for a Manned Mars Free Return Mission in 2018 (paper to be presented March 3, 2013) written by John Carrico; Dennis Tito; Grant Anderson; Michel Loucks; Taber Mac Callum; Thomas Squire; Jonathan Clark

Free Return from Mars

Here is a 30 page NASA paper from the 1990s that discusses free return Mars flyby trajectories

Tito, a former rocket engineer, made his fortune as the founder of Wilshire Associates, a multibillion-dollar investment firm based in California. He made history in 2001 when he paid a reported $20 million for a ride aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the space station. At the time, the eight-day round trip was highly controversial and required changes in the policies governing space station operations. Since then, six other high-net-worth individuals have taken similar flights with little or no controversy. The current published price for such flights is upwards of $40 million.


– Miles O’Brien, moderator

– Dennis Tito, chairman of Inspiration Mars Foundation and the first private space traveler

– Taber MacCallum, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Paragon Space Development Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in Biosphere 2

– Dr. Jonathan Clark, associate professor of Neurology and Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and space medicine advisor for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute

– Jane Poynter, president and chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in Biosphere 2


Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 at 1 p.m.

– 45-minute press conference, followed by Q and A period

Another paper looks at Mars Free return with a graviyy assist from Venus

There have also been proposals for a Mars cycler which would be a special kind of spacecraft trajectory that encounters Earth and Mars on a regular basis. The term Mars cycler may also refer to a spacecraft on a Mars cycler trajectory. The Aldrin cycler is an example of a Mars cycler. A cycler trajectory encounters two or more bodies on a regular basis. Cyclers are potentially useful for transporting people or materials between those bodies using minimal propellant (relying on gravity-assist flybys for most trajectory changes), and can carry heavy radiation shielding to protect people in transit from cosmic rays and solar storms.

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