Tito announced the private Mars voyage plan today at the National Press Club, where he held a press conference to launch his new organization, the Inspiration Mars Foundation, to back the mission.
Tito hopes to choose a space capsule and rocket from among those already on the market, and modify them to carry two people to Mars and back in 501 days.
And to combat the loneliness and isolation that would doubtless set in during such a mission, Tito is proposing something that’s never been tried before: sending one male and one female, preferably a married couple.
“When you’re out that far and the Earth is a tiny, blue pinpoint, you’re going to need someone you can hug,” Tito told SPACE.com. “What better solution to the psychological problems you’re going to encounter with that isolation?”