Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Mars Prize Fund work?

The Mars Prize Fund is crowdfunded entirely by donations from individuals and organizations around the world. This is a monetary prize that will be awarded to the first organization that successfully completes a crewed mission to the surface of Mars. The goal of the Mars Prize Fund is to enable the mission to occur sooner and to involve as many people as possible. 

What makes the Mars Initiative Different?

We run 100% on volunteer power. Unlike other nonprofits, your donation to the Mars Prize fund, or other grant programs, will only be spent on the goal: Getting humans to Mars faster. It will not be spent on salary or overhead.

Why is a Mars Mile $100?

The cost of the first trip is estimated to be about $30 billion. The distance humans will travel is about 300 million miles. $30B/300M miles is $100/mile. This is the full cost of that mile of the trip.

Is the Mars Initiative sending a mission to Mars?

No. We are helping fund it. Many organizations are interested in the technical aspect of creating the first crewed mission, but none of them have enough financial support to do it. The Mars Initiative is going to provide the missing financial link in the mission through crowdfunding.

How much is the Mars Initiative trying to raise?

In short, as much as possible. Using previous prize funds as an example, to be successful we don’t need to raise the entire cost of the mission. Usually a few percent of the total cost will stir the economic activity needed to get the mission completed.

Do we sponsor different initiatives?

Besides the Mars Prize Fund, the Mars Initiative also sponsors shorter-term initiatives, such as the Grant Program. These are exciting to us for several reason. First, they provide immediate benefits that can be realized and demonstrated in shorter timeframes. They help us sustain momentum. Secondly, they are compatible with our overall goal of supporting the manned exploration of Mars. Finally, they provide additional opportunities for outreach and fundraising. The Mars Prize Fund is never withdrawn to support other initiatives, such as the Grant Program. Donors make a choice at the time of donation.