World’s first space tourist gives details on manned mission to Mars in 2017

Dennis Tito, the American entrepreneur who paid $ 20 million in 2001 for a trip to the International Space Station, spoke before a House subcommittee on space today to outline his plans for reaching Mars. According to Tito, the “Inspiration Mars” endeavor will be a fly-by mission that’ll take two astronauts 808 million miles from Earth to Mars and back again in 501 days. And he’ll need more than $ 1 billion to do it.

“No longer is a Mars fly-by mission just one more theoretical idea. It can be done.”

The plan works within a narrow timeline that takes advantage of a rare alignment in Earth and Mars’ orbits. According to Tito’s written testimony, the launch will need to take place between Christmas 2017 and January 5th, 2018 to ensure a…

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