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First Manned Flight To Mars January 2018 - Married Couple In Space

Updated on June 22, 2014

Mount Sharp On Mars

Photo taken by Mars Curiosity rover on August 23, 2012.
Photo taken by Mars Curiosity rover on August 23, 2012. | Source
  • Taber MacCallum in an organizer for the Mars 2018 Mission, but also Chief Executive of Paragon Space Development Corp. He and his wife want to make the voyage to Mars, rather than Inspiration Mars's leader Dennis Tito, with a trained astronaut as the second person. Jayne Pointer is MacCallum's wife and partner in Paragon. The couple lived for two years in an extreme isolation environment at Biosphere 2 research lab.

They're Right Behind Us In 2018

  • European, Russian space agencies sign deal to cooperate on Mars exploration - The Washington Post

    The Washington Post reported on March 14, 2013 that the European Space Agency (ESA) signed an agreement with Russia on or about 3/13/13 to cooperate on two Missions to Mars.

    NASA left the ExoMars program with ESA in 2012, because of budget cuts. The ExoMars Rover lands on Mars in 2018. It is scheduled to be unmanned - no people on board.

Contests - How we may finally find out if we can exist on Mars.

By 1st QTR 2013 and two years early, the Google LunarX Prize competition had resulted in ready-to-go lunar landers set for launch to the moon. They were likely to be used for early on-the-ground prospecting for He-3 and other natural resources.

The results of the LunarX contest created a first step toward building a launching platform on the moon for near-Earth asteroid mining, also to be done by Google in a partnership known as Planetary Resources, founded in 2010 with James Cameron and other notables. Deep Space Industries would follow closely behind in this field of industry: asteroid or space mining.

LunarX followed the earlier X-Prize contest that resulted in SpaceShipOne and resulted futher, indirectly, in Virgin Galactic's involvement in spacecraft and aerospace businesses that include space tourism. By the end of 2012, several tickets to outerspace already had been sold at $200,000 each. Additional private companies were formed to take advantage of the new outer space market. Meanwhile, many organizations discussed manned flight to Mars, expecting results by 2035. Again, because of related contests, the results came much earlier.

By January 2018, a scheduled manned flight to Mars would prove whether humankind can reach tat planet and weather it can exist there, with help from SpaceX, the X Hab outer space habitat competition, and other companies on the NASA Commercial Crew roster.

The Mars Generation National Opinion Poll

  • Dates Administered: February 4 through February 6, 2013.
  • Target Population: Stratified random sample, adults 18+ in all US states.
  • Sample Size: n = 1,101.
  • Media Used: Email.
  • Data: 95% confidence level (CI); margin of error: +/- 3%.

The survey was conducted and the results compiled by Phillips & Company ( for and The Boeing Corporation. This was a serious endeavor that shows the determination of private enterprise, much of it connected to the NASA Commercial Crew, to explore deep space.

Quote from the Preliminary Summary; Full Report Due March 2013:

  • On average, Americans believe that NASA spending represents 2.43% of the federal budget with a standard deviation of 1.68%.
  • Of respondents polled, 95% believe NASA spending falls within 0.75% and 4.11% of the federal budget.
  • In reality, NASA’s budget in FY2011 was $18.4 billion representing 0.5% of the federal budget.

One very interesting finding in this survey is that a larger proportion (80%) of Native Americans surveyed have confidence in humans landing on Mars by 2033 than was reported by any other racial or ethnic group.

Americans seem optimistic about Mars in the survey overall:

  • 71% feel we will land on Mars by 2033
  • 67% think that both humans and robots should go to Mars.
  • 83% think we should expand partnerships with the private sector.
  • 75% think that the NASA budget should be increased to 1.0% of the national budget to help with the Mission to Mars.

Mission to Mars 2018, '23, or '33

Do you take one of the Four Positions?

See results

Word On the Street

Public debate has included the likely existence and usefulness of NASA ever since the Cold War. However, since 2009, the opposing voices have been raised in argument, rather than debate --

Position One: NASA is a waste of money that is better spent on helping the poor. (NOTE: The NASA budget is 0.5% of the US National Budget.)

Position Two: Many inventions, including heath related treatments as well as business products, have resulted directly from NASA and the US Space Program.

Position Three: President Barack Obama killed the US Space Program and will close down NASA. He may be directing the public to look to private business and its plans to proceed to Mars in order to deflect attention from the moon and secret activities or facilities that operate there.

Position Four: NASA and the US Space Program are passe and there are no jobs in Aerospace Industries. (This is patently false. The global aerospace economy amounts to $300 billion and is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2020, according to Phillips & Company in Austin Texas.)

Mars Odyssey With 1012 Gigabit of Data Capacity Is Used By Students K-12 and College

Odyssey is orbiting around Mars since launch in April 2001. It was named to honor the book and film "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who first had the idea for communications satellites (comsat).
Odyssey is orbiting around Mars since launch in April 2001. It was named to honor the book and film "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who first had the idea for communications satellites (comsat). | Source

Six NASA Satellites Around Mars, All Active


Largest Mars Satellite: MRO with 34 Terabits Data Capacity

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in August 2005 and in final orbit since November 2006.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in August 2005 and in final orbit since November 2006. | Source

How Big Is a Terabit?

1 terabit (Tb) = 1012bits = 1,000,000,000,000 bits = 1,000 gigabits (Gb).

1 terabit (Tb) equals one trillion bits, in other words.

1 gigabit (Gb) = 125 megabytes (MB) = 0.122 gigabytes (GB).


  • The MRO Mars satellite has a 34 terabit (Tb) capacity = 4,250 gigabytes (GB).
  • My flash drive has 8 GB of data capacity and seems huge.
  • Considering the large data capacity of the MRO, the decision by NASA personnel to allow students to use Odyssey was easily made.

Planetary Resources's Arkyd Prospecting Satellite Telescopes

LEO, Arkyd-100 series of propecting radio telescopes for Mars. Google leaders are part of Planetary Resources as well as the LunarX Prize.
LEO, Arkyd-100 series of propecting radio telescopes for Mars. Google leaders are part of Planetary Resources as well as the LunarX Prize. | Source

Surveying and Prospecting On Mars via Satellite

Satellites for observation and surveying have been in orbit around Mars since Deep Space 1 was launched on October 24, 1998. The last of six launched was the MRO (see picture above), launched in 2005. Data gathered by the MRO dwarf the results achieved by the previous five satellites combined.

The list of satellites in Martian orbit include:

  1. Deep Space 1
  2. 2001 Mars Odyssey - Still active and used by Students from elementary school through college to snap photos of the Martian surface for study and interpretation by the Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP) that is sponsored by NASA. Not a contest per se, the project spurs interest in Mars, STEM courses at all grade levels, and aerospace business/careers. Author Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who suffered ridicule for his "nonsensical" comsat idea would be proud of our Martian satellites today.
  3. Mars Global Surveyor
  4. Cassini-Huygens
  5. Magellan probe
  6. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Mars Launch 2018: Mission For America

Millionaire Dennis Tito is head of a nonprofit corporation called the Inspiration Mars Corporation (no website as of this writing), He scheduled a news conference to be held Wednesday, February 27, 2013 to formally announce his plans to begin a manned flight to Mars and back in January 2018. This planned trip will be a fly-around without landing and it is scheduled to require 501 days for completion.

That is 1 year and about 4 1/2 months of flight time and means that he would not return to Earth until sometime in June 2019.

By launch date, we hope that Space Medicine knows more about long-term space habitation and how to combat the ill health effects associated with it. Looking at the ise of a Dragon capsule in the diagram offered below, I can see that Deep Vein Thrombosis of the leg will be an immediate problem, because there is no room to walk or exercise. Embedded Reporter David Bloom suffered this condition, fatally, after riding in the confined conditions of a US military tank for a few weeks during Desert Storm.

A New Yorker, Mr. Tito paid $20 million and received help from Russia to visit the International Space Station in 2001. He felt that NASA would not help him. He would like to land on Mars, if possible, because he is aging (b. August 8, 1940) and does not want to miss the chance. The next launch window would be in 2031, about the time that all the other agencies and companies related to space travel feel that a first flight is possible (circa 2031 - 2035).

The Tito March 2018 Agenda

This all begins to resemble the parts of the Jody Foster film Contact in which a Billionaire, aging and sick, flies to outer space in search of aliens as a final adventure.

Some people say that Dennis Tito's trip to Mars is such a stunt, and it could be a stunt. However, the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk in 1903 was also a stunt. The longest and highest jump from the sky, actually from outer space to New Mexico in 2012, was a stunt, but a well planned and useful stunt.

Dennis Tito's initial plans:

  • From January 2018 to mid-2019, two people will fly past Mars in a Modified Dragon Capsule from SpaceX, which has already successfully docked a Dragon with the ISS.
  • The Dragon will fly on the Falcon Heavy Rocket, also produced by SpaceX. Thus far, NASA's own heavy rocket will be ready only in December 2017, for the moon, but SpaceX can step up its own program -- SpaceX plans to fly astronauts to the ISS in early 2015.
  • Additional companies involved are Paragon, which is a Commerical Crew roster member, along with the team that helped a man jump form outer space to Roswell Mexico in 2012.
  • Only necessary survival will be considered on the 501 day trip. Two astronauts may be seated for the entire 501 days(see capsule size comparisons below), taking sponge baths and eating specially prepared foods that take up little space. Human waste disposal may be a problem.

Capsule Size Comparison



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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      1) US planned for 2035 Mission to Mars human landing and began making plans for sooner landing, then private companies decided that even sooner would be best.

      2) If enough money is put forward, it will happen, but 2018 sounds too quick to be possible to me as well.

      3) With the 63+ private companies and individual investors in Google Space Projects linked to NASA Commercial Crew, NASA will need no more govt funding in the future. There is little conservative about the dozens of missions already planned and those in formulation. We already have habitats to use on Luna, Mars, large asteroids, and Jupiter and its moons, for instance and related design/mfg. companies are increasing fast in my state. We have a physicians group planning a clinic on Luna, but I think that's wishful thinking for another decade.

    • cydro profile image

      Blake Atkinson 

      8 years ago from Kentucky

      Great hub, I have to admit I didn't know there were that many active satellites orbiting mars. Just because I'm passionate about this kind of stuff...I'm going to quickly share my opinions on the subject:

      1) Russia and China plan on manned missions to Mars by 2033. Other nations attempting this feat will give a kick to interest in NASA, otherwise people don't really have the motivation (if Mars was made of gold and oil, we would have been there 100 years ago).

      2) I don't think the couple to Mars thing will pan out, but privatizing the space industry is the best thing that can happen. The effect of privatization was demonstrated with airplanes.

      3) The reason that NASA funding is so unfairly small (and recently was drastically cut so that they couldn't even go to an international space conference in Europe) is because Congress can't see the short term benefits of funding it. The physicists, chemists, and biologists can't promise things like ear thermometers, memory foam, and safety grooving in concrete...but all of these things and many more came directly from NASA research.

      Most of the parts that NASA uses is from the 60's. They also are afraid of failure--they are very conservative with their mission selection because more failure means more budget cuts.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 

      8 years ago

      Thank you, I look out for it! :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I don't think any station is rerunning it right now - maybe SYFY - but I purchased a DVD of the season and I think it was from the local Half Price Books store. Really inexpensive.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 

      8 years ago

      Great! I just became your 6,409 th follower.


      PS: I didn't see Life on Mars. I'll look out for it.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi stuff4kids! - I'll be adding information as I hear it, especially from aerospace people in my state and the university where John Glenn still teaches at age 90+. It's a blessing to have him here!

      Did you watch the one-season series Life on Mars? That was interesting and fun.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 

      8 years ago

      This was an AWESOME read.

      I am a fan of SF and reading this was like reading stories coming true!

      I think that it would be a wonderful achievement if anyone could land people on Mars and would give a huge and much-needed uplift of inspiration and positivity to many of us.

      While I think that taking advantage of the potential resources in space (asteroid mining and so on) seems reasonable and could ease the burden on our home planet, I'm a little anxious that we might just go off spreading a mess through the universe, too!

      This is one to come back to because there is so much information and so many interesting links to follow.

      Voted up etc. Fantastic reading. :)

    • NotPC profile image


      8 years ago

      @viewfinders, Traveling to Mars is not simple... The rovers they are sending to explore and conduct research are the special arrangements... The red planet is about 352 million miles away. If we send humans to Mars before we have adequately prepared, our eagerness may end up costing us much more than money. Death on a Mars mission would be extremely devastating for both the families of the astronauts, as well as the space program, which would be under investigation for space-style manslaughter charges... Unless you are volunteering for the job Viewfinder, in that case I support your position.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      drjb -I think 2018 is too soon a date for success, but the Dutch company is serious about 2023.

      wba108 - I had not made the connection with Magellan's voyage, but you have a very good point! Thanks for that.

      soneonewhoknows - Thanks for the video!

      viewfinders - NASA is not, but private companies are paying for the bulk of new Mars Exporation ships, equipment, and personnel. That is Google, James Cameron, Planetary Resources, the Dutch Company, a Japanese Company, SpaceX, Paragon, and at least 55 others. They have to pay NASA to use Cape Canaveral as well. A few have small contracts with NASA, but the largest players are paying for it themselves. NASA has very little money of its own, just 1/2 of 1% of the US budget. Look for NASA to beome a private company without government funding.

    • viewfinders profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Living in Mars may be difficult and they should be special arrangement to be done to make it reality. Nasa is trying too much and wasting money by sending too much vehicles to mars ,and may cause problems to everyone.

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      8 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      There is a youtube video about the discovery of life on mars as well as teleportation to and from mars. A lot faster than space travel.

    • profile image 

      8 years ago from upstate, NY

      I certainly am interested in a manned mission to Mars. In the long run I believe their will need to be a strong national interest to get the support for the needed investments for such a program. National prestige, financial and scientific advances may coax us into a significant investment.

      This is uncharted territory, who knows what advantages it may offer! I think of the Spanish government's funding of Megellans first trip around the world. It gave the Spanish a trade monopoly in the far East that lasted about 200 years. Granted there's no one that we know of on Mars to trade with but there may be other perks.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Fascinating conjecture, Patty, because I would like to see our space program revived in a big way - there is so much we can learn from further space exploration. Excellent recapitulation of the potential flights to Mars.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I don't know if we can live on Mars, but it will be exciting to see people try.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 

      8 years ago

      I would love to see steps taken to get us to mars within my lifetime. I don't know if I'll be around for the actual event, but that would be nice too.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I think there are a lot more probes and satellites out in space than I had realized, because I keep hearing about additional ones. With the new aerospace companies opening every week, the sky may become overcrowded on top of the debris from past launches. That could be a big problem as well.

    • torrilynn profile image


      8 years ago

      Patty Inglish,

      interesting topic that you chose to speak of here.

      i feel that it is important to know what is being sent out and where it

      is being sent to. i guess quick developments could be the result of the contest

      this just goes to show that if the government or anyone doing research really

      wanted to resolve something that they could because of their determination

      and the motivation to solve the problem. i feel as a society that sometimes that we

      are focusing on the wrong things.

      voted up

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      @NotPC - There sure is a lot happening all at once in space exploration. I hope it continues - thanks for the comments!

    • NotPC profile image


      8 years ago

      This mission is scheduled for the same year as the Lunar Node missions! Space exploration is becoming so exciting! Not to mention it is one of the only platforms where the world super powers work together to reach a common goal...


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