Wilshire Associates founder Dennis Tito announced plans to send a human to Mars by 2018.
Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington on Wednesday, Mr. Tito said the newly formed Inspiration Mars Foundation is targeting Jan. 5, 2018, as the next window of opportunity to launch the two-person mission.
“The planets realign every 15 years, and who wants to wait?” said Mr. Tito, who is underwriting the venture for two years but will seek additional support. “This is not a commercial mission, I assure you. I will come out a lot poorer, but my grandchildren will be richer for it.”
In 2001, Mr. Tito, who has degrees in aeronautics and engineering, was the first civilian crew member on a trip to the International Space Station.