Mars Flyby Congressional Hearing Set for Thursday

Full Committee Hearing
Mars Flyby 2021: The First Deep Space Mission for the Orion and Space Launch System?

2318 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515Feb 27, 2014 10:00am


Dr. Scott Pace, Director of the Space Policy Institute, George Washington University

General Lester Lyles (ret.), Independent Aerospace Consultant and former Chairman of the Committee on “Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program” established by the National Academies

Mr. Doug Cooke, Owner, Cooke Concepts and Solutions and former NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Mission Directorate

Dr. Sandra Magnus, Executive Director, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


The Obama Administration has NASA planning to send astronauts to an asteroid that would be captured by a robotic spacecraft and brought to a location near Earth. Congress, by and large, doesn’t like this plan and has been reluctant to provide money to fund it.

Dennis Tito’s Inspiration Mars mission had listed 2021 as a backup date to the non-profit organization’s plan to launch two astronauts on a flyby of the Red Planet in 2018. The 2018 mission, which would last 501 days, now appears implausible now due to a failure to raise sufficient funds.

A 2021 flyby would take 88 days longer than the 2018 mission, but it would have the added bonus of a close flyby of Venus.