The International Mars Science Foundation and Mars Mission Corporation Proudly Announce Successful Launch of First Human Mission to Mars

Spacecraft Daedalus Projected to Land on Mars in November of This Year;

Crew of Six Astronauts Onboard Will Make First Attempt to Establish Permanent Human Settlement on the Distant Planet

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The following National Geographic Channel press release is about a future successful launch of the first human mission to Mars. MARS – a global television event series – will premiere in November 2016 on the National Geographic Channel.

Today, May 9, 2033, Earth’s first crewed mission to Mars aboard the Daedalus spacecraft successfully launched from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida, USA at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT), as cheers erupted from the Mars Mission Corporation’s Mission Control in London. The historic mission, a massive undertaking decades in the making, is a collaborative effort of MMC and the International Mars Science Foundation. The Daedalus and its human crew of six today take their rightful place in the history books as the fateful journey begins.

The Daedalus is projected to land on Mars in November 2033. The landing and subsequent plan for methodically establishing the first human settlement on Mars will be documented in depth by National Geographic Channel in collaboration with the teams at IMSF and MMC. Details of the journey and a countdown to the landing can be found at

Upon successful landing, the crew will immediately begin to secure a limited base camp and is tasked with identification of a subterranean space with access to ice and appropriate geological requirements needed to support a long-term habitation site.

Once the first human settlement is established, the crew must sustain itself until future landings in 2035 and 2037 expand the settlement with deliveries of both cargo and additional human occupants. The carefully selected international crew of six are uniquely suited to take on this monumental step for humans, and are supported by the best team on the ground.

Daedalus crew members include:

Ben Sawyer(Ben Cotton) – American – mission commander and systems engineer, space architect. The MIT graduate was very close to his father, whose fascination with space was an inspiration for Ben. Ben is a highly trained and experienced astronaut who has flown for both NASA and private space companies in numerous capacities.

Hana Seung(Jihae) – American – mission pilot and software engineer. Hana is a NASA-trained pilot. Hana and her twin sister, Joon, have dreamed of traveling into space since childhood, and Hana’s position as second in command on the mission to Mars is the result of a focused career.

Robert Foucault(Sammi Rotibi) – Nigerian – mechanical engineer and roboticist. Robert showed exceptional intelligence from a young age, and excelled academically at a series of top-level institutions, eventually receiving a Ph.D. in robotics from Stanford.

Amelie Durand (Clementine Poidatz) – French – flight surgeon and psychologist. Amelie is responsible for overseeing the medical and psychological well-being of the crew and future settlement.

Javier Delgado (Alberto Ammann) – Mexican – hydrologist and geochemist. Javier is responsible for developing and managing the settlement’s most basic and precious resource: water.

Marta Kamen (Anamaria Marinca) – Russian – exobiologist and geologist. As a young woman, Marta witnessed the Chelyabinsk meteor fall in February 2013, which inspired her interest in meteorites. Marta is responsible for geological exploration and the search for signs of life on Mars.

On the ground, the MMC control team based in London will work closely with IMSF in Vienna, Austria. The MMC team includes:

Joon Seung (Jihae) – American – capsule communicator (CAPCOM), MMC. Jun has been a rising star on the administrative side of Mars Mission Corporation. Her success at MMC brings her into regular collaboration with IMSF.

Ed Grann (Olivier Martinez) – American – CEO of MMC. Ed has committed MMC and himself to a settlement on Mars. Ed holds an engineering degree from MIT, and is the business leader for MMC and the inspiration for the IMSF collaboration. Ed is responsible for keeping the economic and scientific goals on track.

Leslie Richardson (Cosima Shaw) – British – geneticist, administrator and leader of MMC’s Phase 3 settlement team. Leslie and her husband, John, have published numerous books together and are well-known for the development of Mars-specific hybrid plants, designed to thrive in the rigors of the Red Planet.

Dr. Paul Richardson(John Light) – British – world-renowned exobotanist. Paul has pioneered the development of a series of plant hybrids specifically engineered to function in the extreme conditions of Martian greenhouses.



Official crew photo of Daedalus, taken 6 May 2033. The Mars Mission Corporation in conjunction with the International Mars Science Foundation successfully launched Daedalus on 9 May 2033, beginning Earth’s first crewed mission to Mars. Front row L to R: Astronauts Amelie Durand (Clementine Poidatz), Ben Sawyer (Ben Cotton), Marta Kamen (Anamaria Marinca). Back Row L to R: Astronauts Robert Foucault (Sammi Rotibi), Hana Seung (Jihae). Not Pictured: Astronaut Javier Delgado (Alberto Ammann). Photo credit: National Geographic Channel

MARS — the global television event series — will premiere in November 2016 on the National Geographic Channel.

About Mars Mission Corporation

A consortium of aerospace corporations formed in 2022 and headquartered in London, Mars Mission Corporation builds and manages the technological hardware for the Mars program. CEO Ed Grann is an engineer and a true believer. The investors in MMC are from all corners of the globe, including substantial support from the International Mars Science Foundation and its member nations. For Grann, the launch of the Daedalus represents the culmination of over 30 years of work, and is a crucial step in creating a self-sustaining colony. MMC will be responsible for future transportation needs to Mars for institutions, corporations and national space agencies, along with the eventual settlers from Earth. MMC is a subsidiary of Orbital Solutions, a leading satellite-launching organization, and also collaborates closely with the IMSF Board.

About International Mars Science Foundation

The International Mars Science Foundation, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is an organization founded by a coalition of the space-faring nations to carry out a mission to Mars. The Mars Mission Corporation is a close partner in this endeavor, and IMSF has invested heavily in the current phase of the mission. IMSF upholds the mission’s scientific goals as well as supporting member nations in liaising with the public regarding the mission. Member nations include: the U.S., India, Russia, Japan, China, the European Union, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa.

About National Geographic Channels

The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit and


National Geographic Channels
Chad Sandhas, 202-912-6537
National Geographic Channels
Nadia Aziz, 202-912-6585

Count Down to Mars Landing
[Featured Artist] - Jacqueline Green