Frequently Asked Questions

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Amazon Smiles donates 0.5% of purchases on for sessions initiated using our Smiles URL. This program is free to use and makes a difference for us.

  1. Open a new browser window or tab and enter this URL:
  2. Shop for your favorite products.
  3. Add products to your cart and check out
  4. The funds will automatically be deposited into our account
  5. Bookmark the URL and use it whenever you shop on Amazon.

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 The Mars Prize Fund is never withdrawn to support other initiatives, such as the Grant Program.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.