NASA Plans to Send Men to Mars, Leave Them There
Hundred Year Spaceship could hit other planets, too
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2010 2:15 PM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2010 5:00 PM CDT
Engineers work on the Mars rover Curiosity at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – NASA is hatching an audacious plan to send astronauts into space to colonize Mars and other planets—and never return. The project, known as the Hundred Year Starship, has already received more than $1.5 million in funding, the Daily Mail reports, though that’s a small fraction of what the roughly $10 billion ship would ultimately cost. NASA’s hoping to raise money from interested billionaires—Google’s Larry Page has already expressed interest.

“You heard it here,” said the director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds. Twenty years ago, you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired.” New research has found that a one-way mission to Mars would be cheaper and more feasible than a round-trip. Astronauts would get regular supply shipments, but would be expected to be at least marginally self-sufficient.