The first humans on Mars will spend 501 days cooped up in tiny space

The first humans to visit Mars could be a married couple, after organisers of an ambitious manned mission to the Red Planet said that only a “tried and tested” male-female partnership could cope with the close confinement of a return trip.

Dennis Tito, the multi-millionaire financier and former rocket scientist behind the planned 2018 mission, said he was confident of raising the estimated $1.5bn to $2bn (£1bn- £1.3bn) needed to send a two-person mixed crew to Mars – but admitted that the total funding has yet to be found.

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