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WASHINGTON — A project to send the first student-built small spacecraft to Mars plans to raise the bulk of its $25 million budget through crowdfunding, an effort that would make the mission among the largest such efforts in history.

Time Capsule to Mars, a student-led project supported by the advocacy group Explore Mars and several aerospace companies, plans to launch in the next five years a cubesat-class spacecraft to Mars carrying photos and other digital media. The spacecraft would burn up in the martian atmosphere except for a section carrying the media that is designed to...

"SpaceX was founded to radically improve space transport technology. ... Today, it is one of the leading aerospace companies in the world, with nearly 50 missions contracted ... eight [Falcon 9 rockets launched] with 100% mission success, including four launches for NASA, three to the International Space Station, and sophisticated geostationary spacecraft for the world's leading satellite companies."
 
So began SpaceX founder Elon Musk when he sat down before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee earlier this month. But while all this sounds impressive...
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off.

The future of spaceflight will be powered by ion engines and warp drives, right? Not just yet. There is still some uncharted territory in the world of liquid-fueled rockets, which have been powering spacecraft since the 50s, and SpaceX is testing the waters with its new Raptor engine. It could be the engine that, if Elon Musk gets his wish, propels the first colonists to Mars.

Right now the Raptor looks like it will be developed to deliver 1 million pounds of thrust at launch, which is certainly a step up from SpaceX’s existing engines—...

  • Mars Landscape

The bone-dry desert of present-day Mars may seem like the last place you would look for water, but the Red Planet actually contains a wealth of water locked up in ice.

Evidence that Mars once supported liquid water has been mounting for years, and exploratory...

Watch the CNN video HERE

If you have ambitions of being one of the first people on Mars, listen up: A Dutch company says it is moving along with its plan...

  • Mars probe flyby

Billionaire Dennis Tito, tired of being told that we can’t send humans to Mars just yet, on Wednesday revealed his scheme for launching two astronauts to the red planet as early as December 2017.

Dubbed “Inspiration Mars,” the flyby mission would exploit a...

  • Mojave Desert

MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE, Calif. — J. Craig Venter, the maverick scientist, is looking for a new world to conquer — Mars. He wants to detect life on Mars and bring it to Earth using a device called a digital biological converter, or biological teleporter.

...

  • Maven

Weather remained the main hurdle Sunday for an on-time launch of NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) mission, an orbiter designed to answer the question “where did the water go” on the Red Planet.

A two-hour launch widow opens at 1:28 p.m....

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