They'll be crammed into a space the size of an RV for more than a year, breathing recycled air, subsisting on dehydrated food and drinking their purified urine. If they die, they'll be freeze-dried in a body bag. And if they survive, they'll have to re-enter Earth's atmosphere at a screaming 8.8 miles (14.2 kilometers) per second.
But the applications are already rolling in for the first manned mission to Mars, the project team said Thursday (April 11).
Speaking at the National Space Symposium here, members of the Inspiration Mars Foundation described the challenges inherent in launching two humans on a 501-day flyby journey to the Red Planet and back in January 2018, but remained optimistic that those challenges aren't insurmountable.