First space tourist plans to make trip to Mars in 2018

Earth's first space tourist won't be outdone by a few fancy NASA rovers with their cutesy names, sky cranes and whatnot. So like the saying goes, if you can't beat 'em, make the unprecedented 500-day round-trip journey to Mars to join 'em.

That's the insanely ambitious plan that Dennis Tito, who was the first private space traveler a little less than 12 years ago will announce in more detail next week.

A release from Tito's newly formed Inspiration Mars Foundation teases "plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018."