Mars flyby and other links

This was supposed to be a secret until this coming Wednesday, and it was secret, right up until someone spilled the beans almost a week early:

Buzz is building about a planned 2018 private mission to Mars, which may launch the first humans toward the Red Planet. A nonprofit organization called the Inspiration Mars Foundation — which is led by millionaire Dennis Tito, the world’s first space tourist — will hold a news conference on Feb. 27 to announce the 501-day roundtrip mission, which will aim for a January 2018 launch.

Yes, there are many unresolved questions. But these people are not flakes; they are serious veteran space travel professionals. I think they’re really thinking about doing this. There will be more info soon. [Read more...]