In The News

Our Media Relations Team is available to serve members of the media on a variety of different topics. If you are a member of the media and have a question about Mars Initiative (MI) or need an expert spokesperson in one of the following areas, please contact our Media Relations office by email: [email protected] or phone: +1 (480) 389-MARS. 

-Mars Initiative organization 

Mars Prize Fund 

Mars Miles 

-Micro-G Grant Program 

-MI graphics, logos, photos, and video content are available upon request.

Press Releases:

Growth of the pioneering prize pool is accelerating

For Immediate Release

HOUSTON, Texas, November 19, 2021 – The Mars Initiative is announcing its pioneering Mars Prize Fund has surpassed $25,000 in November, representing several years of consistent effort by a small team of volunteers. The Mars Prize Fund is a public savings account that uses a crowd-sourcing model to support a human mission to the Red Planet. 

Growth of the fund has accelerated in the last 3 years, due to several factors, including increases in the number of donors, diversification of the portfolio investment strategy, and the development of new donation mechanisms, such as cryptocurrencies. 

“We are pleased with the sustained growth of the Mars Prize Fund. The breakthrough has occurred at a time when the organization has also committed to other funding initiatives such as the educational Micro Grant Program and the Space Innovation Grant,” said Josh Lipshaw, Treasurer for The Mars Initiative. 

The Mars Prize Fund has grown 54% in the last two years, and maintained a compound annual growth rate of 65% since the inception of the fund. Donations in the form of cryptocurrencies now comprise almost 7% of the Mars Prize Fund. 

Mars Initiative is a publicly-funded, international non-profit organization focused on creating the opportunity for individuals around the world to contribute to the advancement of space travel and inspiring a love of space in young people. We utilize crowdfunding to make it possible for all persons to have a hand in supporting the first successful crewed mission to the surface of Mars as well as provide resources to classrooms and youth organizations that inspire the next generation of Space Advocates. For more information see the website at https://marsinitiative.org/.

The Mars Initiative Commits to Long-Term “HODL” Strategy

For Immediate Release

HOUSTON, Texas, January 11, 2021 – Advocates for a human mission to Mars can now help fund a mission using cryptocurrencies from anywhere in the world. The Mars Initiative today announced it is accepting the Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH),  and Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrencies for Mars Prize Fund donations, to be granted to the first team to send humans to the surface of Mars. 

Many non-profit organizations have adopted cryptocurrency donations, but most exchange cryptocurrencies for traditional currencies to fund current programs and operations. The Mars Prize Fund is a long-term investment vehicle that is committed to honoring donor intentions by holding cryptocurrencies (“HODL”) in the form made by the donor. In this way The Mars Initiative contributes to the adoption and success of both initiatives on the cutting-edge of human development. 

“We are excited by the prospects of expanding our donor options, because cryptocurrencies allow more people in countries all over the world to take part in this important next step for humanity” said Chris Bellant, Director of The Mars Initiative. The Mars Initiative uses industry best practices for key storage to ensure the security of its cryptocurrency donations, and utilizes the latest wallet address naming systems from ENS, FIO, and Unstoppable Domains. 

Since the inception of Bitcoin in 2008, the cryptocurrency markets have grown to exceed $1 trillion in valuation. In his 2019 book The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility, author Robert Zubrin claims human mission to Mars can cost as little as $20 billion. For information on how to donate using cryptocurrencies, see the Donate Crypto page at https://marsinitiative.org/donate/

Mars Initiative is a publicly-funded, international non-profit organization focused on creating the opportunity for individuals around the world to contribute to the advancement of space travel and inspiring a love of space in young people. We utilize crowdfunding to make it possible for all persons to have a hand in supporting the first successful crewed mission to the surface of Mars as well as provide resources to classrooms and youth organizations that inspire the next generation of Space Advocates. For more information see the website at https://marsinitiative.org/

Grants Awarded to Three Schools

For Immediate Release

HOUSTON, Texas, August 15, 2020 – The Summer 2020 application period for the Micro-G grant program ended on July 31st, and the Mars Initiative is announcing the latest round of recipients. The Mars Initiative started accepting applications for the summer quarter on July 1st, 2020, for two $200 grants to educators for purchase of educational materials for space-based science content. Several applications were submitted, and the Mars Initiative has decided to fund three of the applications. 

  • Shelly Grandell: Ken Carl Middle School, CO, for indoor plant growth equipment to help students participate in two space-based plant-growth projects, “Tomatosphere” and “Space Chili Grow a Pepper Plant Challenge.”
  • Linda Frantz: Northridge Elementary School, OK, for space exploration backpacks full of STEM books, materials, and activities that students and families can borrow, allowing them to learn about space at home.
  • Jessica Noffsinger: STEM Lab K-8, CO, for AstroReality Mars Pro, an augmented reality tool to allow students to more fully experience Mars.

“We were very impressed by the quality of the applications we received, and are confident all the grant awards will inspire future generations of leadership,” said April Lanotte, Director of the Micro-G program for The Mars Initiative. 

The Micro-G application is opened four times per year for educators who work in schools, museums, libraries, after school clubs, or any other venue where students can be exposed to content that fosters curiosity and learning about outer space and related sciences. The grants may be used for consumable or reusable materials. The Mars Initiative has received over $2,000 in donations earmarked for the Micro-G program and has an active team of three volunteers who promote, review, and distribute funds for the program. More information and the application form are available on the website at https://marsinitiative.org/grant-program/, or by email at [email protected]

Mars Initiative is a publicly-funded, international non-profit organization focused on creating the opportunity for individuals around the world to contribute to the advancement of space travel and inspiring a love of space in young people. We utilize crowdfunding to make it possible for all persons to have a hand in supporting the first successful crewed mission to the surface of Mars as well as provide resources to classrooms and youth organizations that inspire the next generation of Space Advocates. For more information see the website at https://marsinitiative.org/

Grants for Schools Open Through July 31, 2020

For Immediate Release

HOUSTON, Texas, July 1, 2020 – The Mars Initiative has started accepting applications for the summer quarter of the Micro-G grant program to award two $200 grants to educators for purchase of educational materials for space-based science content. The current application period will close on July 31st with awards to be determined on August 15th, 2020. 

The Micro-G application is opened four times per year for educators who work in schools, museums, libraries, after school clubs, or any other venue where students can be exposed to content that fosters curiosity and learning about outer space and related sciences. The grants may be used for consumable or reusable materials. 

“The aspirations of mankind will be fulfilled by studying, traveling, and living in space. Inspiring future leaders is one of the most effective ways to achieve that ” said April Lanotte, Director of the Micro-G program for The Mars Initiative. 

The Micro-G program has delivered several grants already, including Ardusat Space Kits for Teachers in Space, a SunSpotter for Hayesville High School, and materials for Neighborhood House at Firwood Circle in Washington State to participate in the NASA ANGLeS competition. The Mars Initiative has received over $2,000 in donations earmarked for the Micro-G program and has an active team of three volunteers who promote, review, and distribute funds for the program. More information and the application form are available on the website at https://marsinitiative.org/grant-program/, or by email at [email protected]

Mars Initiative is a publicly-funded, international non-profit organization focused on creating the opportunity for individuals around the world to contribute to the advancement of space travel and inspiring a love of space in young people. We utilize crowdfunding to make it possible for all persons to have a hand in supporting the first successful crewed mission to the surface of Mars as well as provide resources to classrooms and youth organizations that inspire the next generation of Space Advocates. For more information see the website at https://marsinitiative.org/

Mission is Necessary Step Towards Human Mission to Mars

For Immediate Release

HOUSTON, Texas, May 31, 2020 – The Mars Initiative congratulates SpaceX, its crews at Kennedy Space Center, at SpaceX’s Launch Complex 39A (SLC-39) and Hawthorne Mission Control, and the ISS Mission Control team at NASA Johnson Space Center for successfully docking with the International Space Station. 

The Crew Demo-2 mission lifted off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 3:22:45 p.m. EDT (1922:45 GMT) on Saturday and docked with the space station at 10:16 a.m. EDT (1416 GMT) Sunday. A modified SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted the Crew Dragon capsule to orbit on Saturday. 

“This mission is significant because human missions to Mars depend on successfully reducing the cost of access to space. The mission gives the SpaceX teams valuable experience dealing with the unique requirements of humans in space” said Mina Mukhar, Founding President of The Mars Initiative. 

Prior to the mission, NASA relied on the Russian-made Soyuz capsule to access the ISS. Seats on Crew Dragon are estimated to cost $55 million, compared to $86 for the Soyuz and can be launched from US territory. Comparatively, the Space Shuttle, last flown in 2011, cost approximately $1.5 billion per launch, almost five times the per seat cost of the Crew Dragon. SpaceX is under contract to deliver six missions of four astronauts each to the ISS. 

Mars Initiative is a publicly-funded, international non-profit organization focused on creating the opportunity for individuals around the world to contribute to the advancement of space travel and inspiring a love of space in young people. We utilize crowdfunding to make it possible for all persons to have a hand in supporting the first successful crewed mission to the surface of Mars as well as provide resources to classrooms and youth organizations that inspire the next generation of Space Advocates. For more information see the website at https://marsinitiative.org/

Articles, Talks, and Interviews:

Houston Chronicle Feature

SpaceUp Leicester

On Orbit Podcast Feature