The mission is set to be complete by 2017

MIT students have joined other universities in a project that aims to send Earth-like mementos to Mars within the next three years.
According to The Boston Globe, the students have announced a mission called Time Capsule to Mars, which is the first crowd-funded, student-led, interplanetary mission. The idea came from last year's Humans 2 Mars summit in Washington, where the students noticed that many attendees were more interested in the fame that comes with landing on Mars rather than the knowledge that comes with it. 
That's why the MIT students want to send three small satellites -- called CubeSats -- to Mars by 2017. The satellites will carry messages, photos, audio clips, and videos representative of what Earth is like in 2014. 
It won't be easy, as new technologies will be used to carry the Earthly items. For instance, the students will test a new propulsion method to get the 26½-pound satellites to Mars. Communication and the health of the spacecraft are other major concerns.

[SOURCE: Red Orbit]

Students participating the project -- which include those from MIT, Duke University, Stanford University, and the University of Connecticut -- are working with Explore Mars (a Boston-area nonprofit that promotes Mars exploration) as well as NASA, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
The project is expected to cost $25 million USD.
“We wanted to remind people we go to space to push forward humanity,” said Emily Briere, a Duke senior who is the mission director. “We think space exploration is a natural avenue to explore that has endless rewards to people on Earth.”

Source: The Boston Globe

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