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[i]Although a number of reports about the venture suggest that the 2018 mission would involve a human crew, the media advisory doesn't say whether astronauts would be flown. Considering the risks and the relatively short time frame, it seems more likely that the "Mission for America" would be a precursor for human flight, perhaps with animals or plants on board. That wouldn't be surprising: Three years ago, McCallum and Poynter announced plans to put a mini-greenhouse on the moon as part of a Google Lunar X Prize mission.
The manned-vs.-unmanned issue isn't the only question hanging over the media advisory: It's not clear how the project would be financed. It's also not clear what type of spacecraft might be used, although SpaceX instantly comes to mind: Musk has said his company could get humans to Mars in as little as 10 years, and there's been talk that a SpaceX "Red Dragon" capsule could be launched toward Mars as early as 2018 for as little as $400 million.
Do Tito and his friends have a Red Dragon mission on their minds?[/i]
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