March, 2015. Nasa's first manned voyage to Mars is about to launch. But disaster strikes - the rocket explodes, killing the entire crew, and the US government abandons the project. What they come up with in its place will change the nature of space exploration together. Businessman John Axelrod and his consortium have every intention of winning the $30 billion Mars Prize for the first successful mission to the red planet. He knows that it will involve far higher risks than the one NASA had planned. But he has no choice. He has to win.