Category Archives: Inspiration Mars

Possible Synergies Between Inspiration Mars & Amazon Studios

…artist’s mockup only, not official…

The former JPL engineer and investment fund manager Dennis Tito has proposed private enterprise send a married couple on a 501 day flight around Mars in 2018. This mission, called Inspiration Mars, is similar to the Apollo 8 lunar fly-by and an important critical step in making humanity a spacefaring multi-planet species. Without debating the merits of space exploration in this thread (please assume it is a worthwhile endeavor), what are your thoughts on Amazon partnering with Tito to ensure the success of Inspiration Mars?

The mission will be televised. Tito views this as a principle source of revenue. Over a billion dollars will be required to purchase hardware. Hundreds of millions of tech savvy, science literate, potentially life-long ideal Amazon customers will watch it repeatedly…for over a year and a half.  Jeff Bezos founded a space exploration company called Blue Origin in the year 2000 to advance “space access for everyone”.  It would seem there are natural synergies between Blue, Inspiration Mars, and Amazon’s online broadcast infrastructure and ambitions.

Amazon Studios has stated they are uninterested in reality television. But someone will do this. It will make money. The exact same infrastructure used to broadcast narrative programming developed by Amazon Studios could be improved through revenues generated by “Amazon Studios: Inspiration Mars”. Someone will do this…Youtube & Google…Disney & The Science Channel…Netflix & National Geographic…NBC & Facebook…why not Amazon Studios in concert with National Geographic, the Science Channel, NBC, Facebook, Disney, et al?

Amazon Studios could lead this effort – effectively partnering with Tito. Blue Origin would have a direction, a guiding purpose, a long-term first step to Mars…Amazon Studios would foster profitable high-level relationships with Facebook and secondary media markets (for rebroadcast of key events such as launch, landing, and the 100 mile altitude Mars fly-by)…Amazon Studios would also receive incredible worldwide exposure for their other projects, and, investments in its infrastructure across the board…Amazon Prime would attract _millions_ of new subscribers…Inspiration Mars would receive deep-pocketed space-literate funding to ensure adequate radiation shielding and robust redundant life support…Amazon would profit from network rebroadcasts (think Olympics only Amazon owns the original footage)…Warner Bros and Amazon Studios would acquire unique proprietary footage of: the launch, the couple (“actors”) in zero g, the craft in orbit, and of course Mars imagery…humanity would be a step closer to establishing a research settlement on Mars in our lifetimes. This is doable.

Someone will do this. Inspiration Mars is searching for partners. The synergies are greatest with Amazon. Google could do this, but Amazon, Blue, and Bezos can do it better.

Thoughts? (feedback via @oceanbluesky )

…alternative mockup…let’s get this going!

Inspiration Mars Panel at Explore Mars H2M Conference

.@inspirationmars Dennis Tito walks over to poster that says “Humans to Mars in 2030” and says I cannot wait until then.#H2M
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) May 8, 2013

Additional videos will be posted as they are archived here:

Unrelated to Inspiration Mars but piquant NASA-Watch observations, charming per usual:

#H2M summary: choir practice. 99.99% of America will never know what happened here. Sad. Space ppl need to work on relevance/outreach. #NASA
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) May 8, 2013

“Its whiter than a republican convention up here” notes one audience member. How to expand inclusiveness? #H2M
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) May 8, 2013

Zubrin on Inspiration Mars (‘Destination Mars’ – Audio Interview)

Robert Zubrin starts 28 minutes into ‘Destination Mars’ – Frontier Journeys to the Red Planet:

“The greatest hope here is, this proposal that’s been advanced by Dennis Tito, known as Inspiration Mars, to send two people on a Mars fly-by mission, which, will not accomplish very much exploration – except that it will prove that human interplanetary flight is possible. It will thus – as it were – take the dragons off the map…eliminate the paralyzing fear that is preventing NASA from embracing ‘humans to Mars’ and leaving them without basically any goals for their human spaceflight program right now. But furthermore in terms of a private flight as such, see, the two person fly-by is doable probably for less than a billion dollars if done in the private sector – for less than two, really, if done by major contractors.

“I proposed such a mission to Golden, in 1995, but, he passed. But Tito while he doesn’t have a billion dollars to spend, has tens of millions, which is enough to start a fund-raising effort that could do this, which is enough to raise a billion, and – if – they – do – this – mission, they will have sufficient credibility to raise funds from the broad public to fund, um, privately funded human Mars exploration. And, see, there’s seven billion people on this planet, of which a billion live in the advanced sector and of which at least ten percent believe in a positive future in which it is important that humans expand into space. That would be enough to fund the colonization of Mars, if ya had them organized. So in other words the harvest is plentiful but the gatherers are few. And, the Tito vision could actually be the thing that raises the flag high enough to rally the forces to make this possible.”

“I don’t think this can be done for profit – this needs to be done for hope and faith. Okay? Other colonization efforts in the past have been done for that reason. The Pilgrims, the Mormons, the Jews going to Israel – and by the way they were all supported by fund-raising organizations of their colleagues who did not go, but who raised logistics to make it possible for the colonists to go, based on a belief that this was important.”

I think that we have a game-changer here with respect to ‘humans to Mars’ and the Tito mission. Mars is where the science is, it’s where the science is, it’s where the challenge is, it’s where the future is. It’s where we’ll find out if life developed where it had a reasonable chance to develop. And it’s where we’re going to find out if we can become a spacefaring multi-planet species. It’s the closet planet with all the resources needed to support life and therefore civilization. And this is the challenge that’s been staring NASA in the face basically since the Apollo missions ended. They’ve been frantically looking for, you know, anything to do. And right now we have a human spaceflight program, where, if we ask them, “where are we going to be 10 years from now?” The answer would be “exactly where we are now.” They’re operating with an Apollo scale budget actually…that is, if you took NASA’s average funding, from ’61 to ’73 and you add it all up, converted to today’s money, divided by 13 years, you’d come out with 20 billion a year.  NASA’s budget this year is, you know, 17 billion. So it’s a little less, but, it’s not like it’s a factor of four less. Or anything of that sort. So it’s comparable to Apollo levels – and yet we don’t have anything like Apollo-era accomplishments. There are no goals, there is no focus – except, in the robotic program. That’s mission driven. That’s why it accomplishes things.”

“The human spaceflight program is basically constituent driven. It’s a way for NASA to spend money to give to contractors. I’m all for money to go to contractors – because I am a NASA contractor – but, it would be much better if it went to contractors that actually accomplished something.”

Inspiration Mars Foundation’s Trajectory Files and Flickr Photostream


EME 2018
Earth Encounter
EVME 2002
Launch from Earth
Earth Encounter

Free files and applications used to create the Baseline Inspiration Mars trajectory:

Inspiration Mars Baseline trajectory in the NASA/Ames Trajectory Browser
Created by Cyrus Foster. (Dates are slightly different here, but it’s the same opportunity).

Inspiration Mars Trajectory VDF file
You will need the free STK Viewer App, from AGI to view the file. You can also view it directly in STK.

Inspiration Mars Ephemeris fileTime-stamped (Julian Date) cartesian J2000 vectors every hour, in the Earth-Centered Equator and Equinox of J2000 coordinate frame.

Trajectory Info Here:

‘Inspiration Mars’ Press Conference Slides

“It is time for America not to withdraw within itself, but to dream big dreams again. It is time for Americans to unite in accomplishing big goals again and reap the benefits in our educational systems, technical advancement and the economy that were realized when we first journeyed to the Moon.” NASA Astronaut, Jerry Ross, January 28, 2013

“I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it” President Barack Obama. Kennedy Space Center, April 15, 2010

Inspiration Mars Press Release:

Inspiration Mars Feasibility Analysis:

Thank you Dennis Tito!

______________________________________________________________________________Update: Additional Material Published Shortly After Annoucenement

“This type of private sector effort is further evidence of the timeliness and wisdom of the Obama Administration’s overall space policy and the enthusiasm to tap the innovative spirit of the private sector and share the interest people have in Mars exploration. It’s a testament to the audacity of America’s commercial aerospace industry and the adventurous spirit of America’s citizen-explorers. NASA will continue discussions with Inspiration Mars to see how the agency might collaborate on mutually-beneficial activities that could complement NASA’s human spaceflight, space technology and Mars exploration plans.” David Steitz, NASA Spokesman