Washington: If all goes well, a US couple can become the first humans to travel to Mars by as early as 2021.
Founders of an Arizona-based private space company called Paragon Space Development Corporation, Taber MacCallum and his wife Jane Poynter are planning a round-trip flyby of the Red planet for themselves.
The research team at Paragon has successfully completed the major components of the life support system for the project called "Inspiration Mars".
"Researchers have recycled urine, made oxygen and removed carbon dioxide from the system - all things they would need to do to keep a crew alive for an Inspiration Mars mission," Paragon CEO MacCallum was quoted as saying in a wired.com report.
They are now waiting for the US government to agree to fund the project and allow the use of the NASA Space Launch System and Orion crew vehicle for transport.
In 2021, Mars and the Earth will align in such a way to make this trip possible.
The mission is spearheaded by millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito.
The couple is famous for Biosphere 2 experiment in the '90s to explore tough space conditions on the Earth.
During the experiment, they stayed inside a giant glass dome for two years from 1991 to 1993 as part of a prototype space colony. The experiment, however, failed.