Nearly 40 Teams At Starting Line Of Inspiration Mars Mission Competition

by Elizabeth Howell on February 6, 2014

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An artist’s concept of how the spacecraft for the Inspiration Mars Foundation’s “Mission for America” might be configured. Credit: Inspiration Mars.

An artist’s concept of how the spacecraft for the Inspiration Mars Foundation’s “Mission for America” might be configured. Credit: Inspiration Mars.

It won’t be long before we start to get the technical details of Inspiration Mars’ daring proposition to send a married couple on a round-trip journey to the Red Planet. The private organization, along with the Mars Society, announced that 38 teams have expressed an intention to participate in a design competition that will see public presentations this spring.

A full list of the university groups is available here, with 56 post-secondary institutions represented from 15 countries (the United States, Canada, Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Poland, Mauritius, India, Bangladesh, Japan and Colombia.)

“We want to engage the explorers of tomorrow with a real and exciting mission, and demonstrate what a powerful force space exploration can be in inspiring young people to develop their talent. This contest will accomplish both of those objectives,” stated Dennis Tito, who is Inspiration Mars executive director.

Now that the teams are announced, their next job is to submit the actual proposals. Design reports are due March 15. Once the top 10 are selected, those teams will go to the NASA Ames Research Center to make public presentations and compete in April 2014. Six judges will be drawn equally from the Mars Society, Inspiration Mars and NASA.

For more details on how the mission works, read this past Universe Today story.

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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