I have mentioned before that the projects in school are way better than those from ‘my day’ (and we’re not talking centuries ago). There is a time capsule project – okay cute, but want to make it awesome? It’s a Time Capsule to Mars project – infinitely cooler.
This mission comes with a price-tag. In the end it will have cost $25 million. But with that price tag comes with a number of firsts; the first privately funded mission to Mars, the first mission to another planet overseen completely by students, the very first interplanetary CubeSat, AND the first trial of a new propulsion system.
So what cool school has the students that are leading this mission? MIT? Stevens? No, Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Want some more details? The goal according to organizers is to land three small satellites (CubeSats) on Mars somewhere around 2019. The project is really a project of the non-profit organization Explore Mars. What will they carry to the Red Planet? These satellites will contain images and videos and other forms of expression that include people around the globe. People from around the world are being asked to send in their photos, handwritten poems.
Wondering where the $25 million is coming from? Everyone on the team one day wants to go to Mars and see it as part of their mission to inspire others. For this inspiration, this sending of ‘the peoples’ images to Mars; the organizers have started the largest crowd funding mission ever. In addition every other possible avenue of revenue is being explored. In fact people who wish to send their images aboard the spacecraft have to shell out 99 cents. I don’t know about you, but 99 cents for a trip to Mars seems kinda cheap.
What I wouldn’t pay to be there on Mars when some alien out for a stroll comes across this time capsule from Earth. Pretty awesome!
AND TO FOLLOW UP on the Arizona Company, World View Enterprises, that plans to take tourists to space, sort of. Basically if the $250,000 for Virgin Galactic was too expensive than $75,000 will get said tourist up 20 miles above the Earth; the sweet spot where one could see the curved line for space that away and this way Earth. Well, just last week the company performed successfully a test flight while simultaneously breaking the world record for highest parafoil flight.