Private trips to space are pricey, but from time to time contests come up that offer even those of modest means the chance to get there.
Take Mars One’s latest publicity campaign, which is to offer a chance for a trip upon the (so-far-unflown-in-space) Lynx spacecraft in exchange for donating to the organization, which plans to launch a one-way human trip to Mars in the next decade.
“The campaign will provide funding for a 2015 Earth mission, which is a simulation project to replicate the future Mars human settlement here on Earth, as well as the 2018 Mars mission to Mars,” Mars One stated.
The campaign, called “Ticket To Rise“, is essentially a fundraising campaign for Mars One. The group is selling memberships, selfies of photographs with Mars in the background (during a 2018 mission), T-shirts and at the high end, coins or attendance at VIP events.
The Mars One plan to bring people to the planet has generated lots of publicity among the media, amid skepticism that the funding and technology could be available to bring people to the Red Planet starting in 2024. The organization began whittling down applicants this year and as of May, said there are now 705 “potential Mars settlers” remaining.
If successful, Mars One hopes to bring settlers to the Red Planet every two years, four people at a time, and leave them there to establish a colony. The organization says there are “no new technology developments” needed to get people to Mars, and that it has gone to “major aerospace companies around the world” to figure out what needs to be done.
The XCOR Lynx spacecraft is one of a small number of vehicles competing for the chance to bring wealthy people into space. From time to time, the company has partnered with other entities (such as men’s grooming company AXE) to run contests to drum up interest in their product, which so far is unflown in space.