Dennis Tito already enjoys the title of being the first private passenger to travel to the International Space Station back in 2001. And according to a SpaceRef media advisory released Wednesday, the millionaire investor will be the first civilian to travel through space to the Red Planet.
Tito, a former rocket engineer, has launched The Inspiration Mars Foundation–a nonprofit organization that will “take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018.”
The “Mission for America” mantra? “It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation.”
A 45-minute press conference will be held this afternoon in Washington D.C. that will detail the mission.