In Pictures: What is so infinitely cool about Mars?

Interest in exploring the Red Planet is at an all-time high -- from millionaire private space-goers to world-wide space programs and scientists

The big news this week was the millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito [Tito in 2001 paid his way on a Souyez mission to the International Space Station] said he wanted to fund a 501-day Mars mission beginning in 2018. His Inspiration Mars Foundation mission would pass within 100 miles of Mars before returning to Earth. While the actual components of the spacecraft have not been set yet, the group expects to use what it called “proven low-Earth orbit (LEO) space transportation systems and technologies derived from industry, NASA and the International Space Station.” One likely possibility is to use SpaceX Falcon Heavy rockets.

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