The director of NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Simon (Pete) Worden, has reportedly been canvassing billionaires to help the U.S. space agency send people on a one-way trip to Mars.
"The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds," Worden revealed Oct. 16 at an event called Long Conversation in San Francisco, reported the KurzweilAI blog.
Worden said NASA Ames has received $1 million from the U.S. military's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and $100,000 from NASA for a project called "One Hundred Year Starship." He hopes donors will chip in through a "Hundred Year Starship" fund.
Worden said he has been speaking with Google co-founder Larry Page, who asked how much it would cost to send people one way to Mars.
"I told him $10 billion, and his response was, ‘Can you get it down to 1 or 2 billion?’ So now we’re starting to get a little argument over the price," Worden was quoted as saying.
Worden's comments have since generated huge buzz around the internet about NASA's possible interest in sending people on a one-way trip to Mars.