Author Topic: LIVE: Dennis Tito's Inspiration Mars Foundation Announcement and Reaction Thread  (Read 275108 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Pre-announcement thread:

Live coverage of their presser:

The Inspiration Mars press conference will be available online at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow. Visit and register for the webcast by clicking “watch live.” Please note that the registration link is not yet activated but will be available for registration by tomorrow. Feel free to share this information with your readers and viewers.

Good webcast link:


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

Join us for a special press conference at The National Press Club


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.

The Inspiration Mars Foundation is committed to accelerating America’s human exploration of space as a critical catalyst for future growth, national prosperity, new knowledge and global leadership.


·         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&A period


The National Press Club

529 14th St NW, 13th floor

Washington D.C.
« Last Edit: 02/27/2013 04:48 PM by Chris Bergin »

Online Chris Bergin

15 mins to the event.

Online Chris Bergin

About to start.

Online Chris Bergin

Off we go.

"Welcome to Mars"

Online Chris Bergin

This is not about the expensive landing schemes. This is a 100 mile altitude flyby.

There are no showstoppers to this.

Tito has a record of thinking big and not taking no for an answer.

Why Mars? It's always captivated us.

Offline simonbp

Mars is O'Brien's second favourite planet. ;)

Online Chris Bergin

Cites MSL etc....but claims HSF is the big deal.

"Humans need to go there. We may miss the chance to be a multi-planetary species."

The goal is to inspire a sea change from talk into action.

Jan 2018 launch date is dictated by orbital mechanics. Notes anniversaries like Apollo 8. Planets are aligning.

Offline simonbp

Anniversary of both Magellan and Apollo 8.

Online Chris Bergin

Intros and overviews of the panel.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               

Feb. 27, 2013



“Inspiration Mars” to pursue human mission to the Red Planet in 2018

New nonprofit foundation to move U.S. farther and faster toward its destiny as

world leader in technical innovation, science, exploration and discovery


WASHINGTON, D.C. – A unique window of opportunity for humankind will open in January 2018, and the Inspiration Mars Foundation intends to seize it, announcing plans today to pursue a challenging manned mission to Mars and back. This historic 501-day journey around the Red Planet is made possible by a rare planetary alignment that occurs five years from now.

Two professional crew members – one man, one woman – flying as private citizens will embark on what is known as a “fast, free-return” mission, passing within 100 miles of Mars before swinging back and safely returning to Earth. Target launch date is Jan. 5, 2018.


Officials with the Inspiration Mars Foundation, a new nonprofit organization founded by private space traveler Dennis Tito, announced their plans to pursue the audacious to provide a platform for unprecedented science, engineering and education opportunities, while reaching out to American youth to expand their visions of their own futures in space exploration.


“When nations boldly follow opportunities, rooted in curiosity and guided by technological innovation, they grow, prosper, learn and lead. And this is what makes a nation great,” said Tito, chairman of the Inspiration Mars Foundation.


“Human exploration of space is a critical catalyst for our future growth and prosperity,” he added. “This is ‘A Mission for America’ that will generate knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It will encourage and embolden all Americans to believe, again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, and inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue their destiny through STEM education.”


The mission will be built around proven, existing space transportation systems and technologies derived from industry, NASA and the International Space Station that can be available in time to support the launch date.


“Investments in human space exploration technologies and operations by NASA and the space industry are converging at the right time to make this mission achievable,” said Taber MacCallum, chief technology officer for Inspiration Mars. MacCallum is also CEO/CTO of Paragon Space Development Corporation, and was a member of the Biosphere 2 Design, Development, Test & Operations team, and a crew member in the first two-year mission.


The mission system will consist of a modified capsule launched out of Earth orbit using a single propulsive maneuver to achieve the Mars trajectory. An inflatable habitat module will be deployed after launch and detached prior to re-entry. Closed-loop life support and operational components will be located inside the vehicle, designed for simplicity and “hands-on” maintenance and repair.


Foundation officials are in talks with several U.S. commercial aerospace companies about prospective launch and crew vehicles and systems.


“Mars presents a challenging, but attainable goal for advancing human space exploration and knowledge, and as a result, we are committed to undertaking this mission,” MacCallum said. “Experts have reviewed the risks, rewards and aggressive schedule, finding that existing technologies and systems only need to be properly integrated, tested and prepared for flight.”


Tito explained that the “beauty of this mission is its simplicity.” The flyby architecture lowers risk, with no critical propulsive maneuvers after leaving Earth vicinity, no entry into the Mars atmosphere, no rendezvous and docking, and represents the shortest duration roundtrip mission to Mars. The 2018 launch opportunity also coincides with the 11-year solar minimum providing the lowest solar radiation exposure. 


The foundation serves as the primary contractor for the mission, overseeing planning, training, systems development, processing and operations. Several companies and individuals recognized for their excellence in various aspects of human spaceflight will manage key program elements. Subcontractors include Applied Defense Solutions, Paragon Space Development Corp. (Paragon), and Dr. Jonathan Clark with the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. In addition, we have formed a partnership with NASA via a reimbursable Space Act Agreement between Paragon and the Ames Research Center (Ames).


“With the support of NASA and an evolving team of industry partners, we intend to do everything possible to take advantage of this unique opportunity for America,” Tito said. “We are engaging the best minds in industry, government and academia to develop and integrate the space flight systems and to design innovative research, education and outreach programs for the mission. This low-cost, collaborative, philanthropic approach to tackling this dynamic challenge will showcase U.S. innovation at its best and benefit all Americans in a variety of ways.”


Those benefits include cutting-edge research and potential discoveries. The mission validates decades of taxpayer investment in NASA technology, and strengthens the nation’s position as a leader in exploration. It also serves as a vehicle for inspiring youth through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and motivation. The foundation is already collaborating with nationally prominent educators, organizations and space experts to design a compelling educational K-12 program. 


The Space Act Agreement between Paragon and Ames is to conduct thermal protection system and technology testing and evaluation. Foundation officials will also seek to tap into NASA’s knowledge, experience and technologies to fine-tune and/or develop some of the more challenging elements of this mission, including environmental controls, radiation protection, and human health and productivity plans.


Tito said the Inspiration Mars mission aligns perfectly with emerging U.S. space priorities and programs, and will contribute valuable research to accelerate next-generation systems and their missions.


“The mission will help create public awareness, enthusiasm and momentum for a long-term commitment and vision for space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit … all the way to Mars,” Tito said. “Clearly, there are risks associated with the mission, as is true of every space exploration mission. But these are exactly the kinds of risks that America should be willing to take in order to advance our knowledge, experience and position as a world leader. We believe the risks and challenges we have identified are well within the scope of our collective experience and can be overcome to achieve a safe and successful mission.”


The Inspiration Mars mission stems from a year-long effort to develop a series of similar fast, free-return trips to the Moon and back. After this fortuitous alignment of planets in 2018, the opportunity will not present itself again until 2031.


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. 


For more information, visit

Online Chris Bergin

Two person crew. Will be a man and a woman.

Online Chris Bergin

Tito says he won't be going.

Online Chris Bergin

Presser is because they are releasing the study he worked on.

Online Chris Bergin

Notes the current situation with the space program.

Significant progress with the robotic program, which he worked on.

Not the same progress with HSF, especially deep space. Not been beyond the moon. It's time to put an end to that lapse.

Notes the 2030s timeline from NASA. Tito doesn't want to wait that long.

Need to do something innovative.

Need to bridge the gap between ISS and SLS. Can't make the jump very easily. A lot we need to learn. We need to have missions inbetween to gain experience.

Online Chris Bergin

Notes the need to "experience" Mars before landing on Mars.

Notes his interest in trajectory work. Wondered about Mars fly by, as he's a fly by guy.

Online Chris Bergin

Notes this first slide as the first thing he saw about flybys.

Four dots at the bottom show the Mars ops for flybys.

Lower right hand corner is the 2018 op. Next op is 2031.
« Last Edit: 02/27/2013 05:10 PM by Chris Bergin »

Online Chris Bergin

Let's go for the 2018 opportunity.

Online Chris Bergin

It's a pretty easy mission. Difficult because it's a space mission.

Online Chris Bergin

Assembled a team for the key four areas of the mission. The feasibility study will be released on Sunday.

Non profit organization (Inspiration Mars). "I will come out a lot poorer at the end of this mission".

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28616
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8585
  • Likes Given: 5604
Going to burn the midnight oil... Signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA (Ames) for reentry, etc.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11461
  • Liked: 3006
  • Likes Given: 1
Is it possible to sign a Space Act agreement with a NASA center without Headquarters approving it?