Duke students dream of a mission to Mars

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 05:40 PM

Messages will await human colonists when they finally set foot on Mars, if Emily Briere and her compatriots get their way.

On Monday, the Duke University senior and space exploration enthusiast will hold a press conference in Washington. D.C., with Duke graduate student Jon Tidd to launch a fundraising project to recapture Apollo-era excitement.

“We want to energize people about it and push forward with new technology,” Briere said.

They want to raise $25 million through crowdfunding for a “Time Capsule to Mars,” which would carry digital images and recordings from Earth in what they’re calling “the world’s first student-led interplanetary mission.”

Tens of millions of people all over the world potentially could upload text, images, audio and video clips for the capsule.

The project would engage K-12 students from around the world and allow them to track the craft’s course between worlds.

And it would unite humanity, the website timecapsuletomars.com asserts, “under one mission, so we can travel together to Mars as one race, in the spirit of global cooperation and peace.”

The team already won support from corporations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Draper Laboratories.

Briere wants a launch date within the next three to five years. She hopes it will just be the start of a new space exploration renaissance.

“There’s so much out there to be explored,” she said. “I want to see us push forward by testing new technology to move humanity to something bigger.”

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