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Inspiration Mars Announcement

Challenger Center Connection

News and Updates from Challenger Center

Today, during a highly anticipated press conference, the Inspiration Mars Foundation, led by Dennis Tito, announced plans to pursue a manned mission to Mars and back. Challenger Center Founding Chair June Scobee Rodgers and Challenger Center President & CEO Lance Bush were invited as special guests to attend the event. Chairwoman Elect Gwen Griffin and her team from Griffin Communications Group played key roles in the planning and executing of the announcement.

This historic 501-day journey around the Red Planet is made possible by a rare planetary alignment that occurs five years from now. Two professional crew members - one man, one woman - flying as private citizens will embark on what is known as a "fast, free-return" mission, passing within 100 miles of Mars before swinging back and safely returning to Earth. Their target launch date is January 5, 2018.

June was asked to speak during the press conference as a leader and advocate in STEM education. As always, June spoke from her heart. She reminded Mr. Tito that

Challenger Learning Centers have been flying to Mars for more than 25 years and invited him to visit a Learning Center to experience one of our missions. She shared the need and importance of continuing to inspire our students and teachers. 

June Scobee Rodgers and Dennis Tito

As the press conference came to a close, a reporter asked what would happen if the mission fails and if the crew dies, what kind of inspiration would that be? June took to the podium and responded, "Without risk there's no knowledge, there's no great discovery, there's no bold adventure...The greatest risk is to take no risk." June continued, "After the loss of Challenger and that beloved crew, our inspiration was to build Challenger Center. The inspiration lives."

Challenger Center is the legacy of a great risk. Each day we continue the Challenger Crew's mission and ensure their legacy lives on.

You should all be aware that while June participated in today's conference as a STEM advocate, at this time Challenger Center does not have an official partnership or role in Inspiration Mars. As their program evolves, we will continue discussions with their team to determine possible ways to work together.

You can watch a recording of the entire press conference here.

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