Mars, first manned mission to
Outer Space / Society / Technology

A joint project between Japan, America, and Russia, carried out in 2012 behind the words, "Onward to Mars." The four participating astronauts, which included Jonathan Ingram, who was undergoing his Policenauts training at the time, were the first human beings to land on Mars, spending a considerable amount of time there. The project was funded by the governments of the 3 participating countries as well as various private corporations, leading some to call the project more of a business trip than a scientific expedition. The astronauts traveled in a separate ship from their cargo, employing the so-called dedicated cargo ship method. The entire return trip, including the time spent on Mars, took approximately 1.5 years. The voyage also gathered attention with its use of the first large-scale spaceship to employ its own artificial gravity.

The astronauts famously encountered the rover Sojourner on the surface, which was sent to Mars in 1996 as part of the Mars Pathfinder mission. The first manned Mars mission was the biggest space event since the first Apollo landing in 1969, generating interest from all over the world.