Education: February 2013 Archives

This Is How Dennis Tito Plans To Send People to Mars, SpaceRef

"If Dennis Tito has his way, two people will leave our planet in January 2018 and make a trip to Mars and back. Tito will be footing much of the bill himself. This mission won't stop at Mars, but rather, will do a quick flyby. Unlike the spate of space commerce companies that have flashed on and off the news in recent months, this effort has substantial cash behind it - at the onset. Also, unlike these previously announced efforts, this is not being done by a company that needs to eventually return a profit to its investors. Instead, it is being spearheaded by a non-profit organization, the Inspiration Mars Foundation. Tito's mission will be facilitated by donors - not investors. And no, he will not be part of the crew."

"Inspiration Mars" to pursue human mission to the Red Planet in 2018, Inspiration Mars Foundation

"Inspiration Mars will be funded primarily through private, charitable donations. The foundation will also seek out government partners that can provide unique expertise, access to infrastructure and other technical assistance as part of a public-private partnership."

NASA Statement on Inspiration Mars Mission

"It's a testament to the audacity of America's commercial aerospace industry and the adventurous spirit of America's citizen-explorers. NASA will continue discussions with Inspiration Mars to see how the agency might collaborate on mutually-beneficial activities that could complement NASA's human spaceflight, space technology and Mars exploration plans."

Video: Inspiration Mars News Conference on 27 February 2013

The Planets are Aligning for a Once-in-a-Generation Space Journey

"The Inspiration Mars Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization led by American space traveler and entrepreneur Dennis Tito, invites you to attend a 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."

- How a millionaire spaceflier intends to send astronauts past Mars in 2018, MSNBC

- New insights on that private (crewed?) Mars mission, NewSpace Journal

Feasibility Analysis for a Manned Mars Free-Return Mission in 2018, Dennis Tito et al, 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference

"In 1998 Patel et al searched for Earth-Mars free-return trajectories that leave Earth, fly by Mars, and return to Earth without any deterministic maneuvers after Trans-Mars Injection. They found fast trajectory opportunities occurring two times every 15 years with a 1.4-year duration, significantly less than most Mars free return trajectories, which take up to 3.5 years. This paper investigates these fast trajectories. It also determines the launch and life support feasibility of flying such a mission using hardware expected to be available in time for an optimized fast trajectory opportunity in January, 2018. ... We used a mission duration of 500 days (d) in a SpaceX Dragon class of vehicle. Crew size is a primary driver so we compared crew sizes from one to four people, and determined that two crew is optimal given mass and volume constraints."

Keith's update: The mission outlined in this paper uses SpaceX hardware for analysis purposes. As outlined, this conceptual mission would depart Earth on 5 Jan 2018, reach Mars on 20 August 2018, and return to Earth on 21 May 2019. This paper will be presented at the 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference on 3 March 2013 at 9:50 pm. This paper has been widely circulated for several weeks by the authors and their associates within government, legislative, industry, and advocacy communities, and has been referenced online - in great detail - for more than a week. I cannot post this paper due to IEEE copyright policies. The press event will be webcast live tomorrow at 1:00pm EST. You can sign up at the Inspiration Mars website. There is a Twitter account at @InspirationMars that will become active soon.

Keith's update: Update: this paper is now online at Inspiration Mars Foundation..

Education & Public Outreach, Lars Perkins, Chairman Education and Public Outreach Committee NASA Advisory Council 29 November 2012

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NASA Says It Cannot Advertise - and Then Buys Advertisements, (NASA Watch posting referenced in this NASA Advisory Council Chart).

Keith's 25 August 2011 note: I have lost count how many times people at NASA have told me that they cannot self-promote, advertise, lobby, or otherwise try to use standard marketing tools to inform the public of the things that they do. They always cite dire Congressional prohibitions against such activities. Then they go off and totally violate these prohibitions with advertising procurements such as this one. I am not certain that they actually know what it is they are allowed or not allowed to do and just throw this answer out when they do not want to do something.

Keith's update: This story has not changed. If you ask, NASA tells you that it cannot advertise. And then they do.



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