WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At a press conference Monday, Time Capsule to Mars™ (TC2M), a project of Explore Mars, officially launched the largest crowdfunding campaign in history to realize the world’s first privately-funded and student-led interplanetary mission to Mars. The team will design, launch, fly and land a CubeSat-based spacecraft on the surface of Mars, carrying digital content from tens of millions of people across the globe for future colonists of the Red Planet to discover.
“We hope to inspire and educate young people worldwide by enabling them to personally engage and be part of the mission. The distributed approach to funding and personal engagement will ultimately guarantee our success.”
The $25 million mission will be funded by people across the globe that upload their personal digital media in the form of images, text, audio and video clips at the cost of 99 cents each (up to 10 megabytes). For those in the developing world, digital media will be free of charge and underwritten by corporate sponsors.
The mission has also garnered support from leading organizations and individuals in government, academia and the private sector including ATK, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Deep Space Industries, Draper Laboratory, Duke University, Lockheed Martin, MIT, NASA, Remarkable Technologies, Stanford University, UConn and Uwingu. Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of ATK Space Launch Division and former NASA chief astronaut, and Kent Rominger, vice president, business development of ATK and former NASA chief astronaut, are special advisors to this project.
“We will make history by connecting humanity’s shared experience with the first pioneers to walk on Mars,” said Emily Briere, Time Capsule to Mars™ founder, mission director and Duke University senior student. “This mission is bigger than any one University, one company, or one country. We have come together to unite and inspire humanity under one mission, as one race, in the spirit of global cooperation and peace as we collectively seek to colonize the first off-world planet.”
The mission will also be the first of its kind to test critical new technologies in propulsion and networking. TC2M will incorporate the use of “quartz storage technology” to preserve and protect the data for potentially several millions of years. The mission will also trial Ion Electrospray propulsion developed at MIT, which was designed to reduce travel time to Mars. Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) will also be deployed to begin testing for a future deep space Internet communications network.
Said Jon Tidd, Time Capsule to Mars™ director of fundraising and marketing, recent production intern at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Fuqua School of Business and Duke University graduate student, “We hope to inspire and educate young people worldwide by enabling them to personally engage and be part of the mission. The distributed approach to funding and personal engagement will ultimately guarantee our success.”
Engaging young students is a critical part of the TC2M mission strategy. Students will be able to access their own personalized “Mission Control” portals to play a virtual role in the mission, while tracking vehicle data across deep space to its landing point on Mars.
To upload images and become part of this historic mission to Mars, visit www.timecapsuletomars.com/#upload. Visit www.timecapsuletomars.com or www.tc2m.com for mission milestones or to learn how you can get involved.
About Time Capsule To Mars™
The world’s first student-led interplanetary mission, Time Capsule to Mars™ (TC2M), has a goal to design, launch and land intact a time capsule on Mars containing data that memorializes the digital keepsakes of the human race on Earth in the current decade as we set out to colonize the first off-world planet in humanity’s history. Time Capsule to Mars™ (TC2M) intends to be the largest-ever crowdfunded science endeavor, aiming to raise an estimated $25 million to accomplish the mission. TC2M is a project of the non-profit Explore Mars (www.exploremars.org). Read more about our mission here, follow us @TimeCapsuleMars or #TC2M, and on Google+.