A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has arrived for all any hopeless romantics who really want to touch the sky with their significant other.

By 2018, the Inspiration Mars Foundation would like to send a man and a woman on a 501-day trip into outer space which will take them within 100 miles of Mars.

The nonprofit is hoping to launch the manned mission on Jan. 5, 2018, when scientists expect the new astronauts will face the smallest amount of solar radiation exposure.

During this time, the alignment of the planets will also affect the Red Planet’s gravitational pull, allowing the couple to use its force as a “slingshot” to go around the planet and come back to Earth. The circumstances won’t happen again until the year 2031, according to the Foundation.

“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,” Dennis Tito, chairman of the Inspiration Mars Foundation, said in a statement. “Human exploration of space is a critical catalyst for our future growth and prosperity.”

The Foundation is hoping that by conducting the private mission, they will be able to bring back more information about the planet for research and further promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in American classroom.

“This is ‘A Mission for America’ that will generate knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration,” Tito said. “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.”

Though the couple will not actually land on the planet, the company warned that, as with any space mission, there will be risk involved in the proposed task.

The company has partnered with NASA’s Ames Research Center and Paragon Space Development Corporation, as well as Applied Defense Solution and Space Exploration Engineering Corporation to make the mission a reality.



Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer