wow, ‘Mars One – First Private Mars Mission in 2018’ just completed its crowd funding (ya I donated so I can haz a Mars Orbit selfie too, but thats besides the point). Yes, we will never know how far this project will take us, but at least they are trying (perhaps we should forever change “do or do not, there is no try” aphorism to “Hell ya, there *is* a try”?).
Speaking of red planet exploration, when NASA launched Mars Exploration Rover 2003, they gave everyone an opportunity to submit their names and send it to Mars. NASA etched those names onto a silicon wafer/microchip and installed it in the Rover, which is still roaming the badlands. How cool is that?