Future Manned Missions to Mars
Why would anyone want to live on Mars? Presently Mars does not seem to be a very attractive place. The reason is not far to seek. The Red Planet, as Mars is called, has virtually none of the comforts to which we are accustomed on earth.
Hence a trip to Mars does not seem to be very attractive to tourists. However, the human being is curious by nature. Since the dawn of mankind, we have been discovering new horizons and expanding our territory to the point that there is almost no place on Earth not inhabited by mankind.
This leads to a situation where it can be safely assumed that humanity would seek to inhabit other planets. Among all the possible options, one of the closest planets is Mars.
Space exploration has advanced greatly over the years but we are still at an early stage. Though the current Sciene & technology makes it possible to carry out manned interplanetary travel and dream of the colonization of Mars, there are also a lot of risks. We know that the journey to Mars is possible. NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover, designed to assess the planet’s habitability, is providing useful inputs. However, it is one thing to place a rover and quite another to colonize a planet. The challenge is so great that despite great advancements made in the space technology, no organization has dared to attempt a manned trip to Mars.
Manned missions to Mars
There are several manned missions to Mars set to be conducted in not so distant future. Look at the ongoing projects that are working to achieve this ambitious goal in the coming decades.
NASA plans to put a man on Mars between 2030 and 2040. The agency intends to send astronauts and keep a permanent base where astronauts can go and come back to Earth. All these efforts are aligned with the NASA’s goal of search for life on other planets.
NASA has already placed orbiters circling Mars, and also has several rovers on the planet’s surface (Opportunity, Spirit and Curiosity).
The agency has been working on the Orion spacecraft, which was launched on December 5, 2014 and landed 4.5 hours later in the Pacific Ocean. Orion was designed as a multi-purpose vehicle to carry astronauts to an asteroid and is an important step for NASA’s aim to develop spacecraft that will carry man to Mars.
Mars One Project
This private spaceflight project aims to colonize Mars by sending astronauts to Mars. However it will be a one-way trip. The crew would not be able to return to Earth and Mars will become their new permanent home.
The project aims to send the first manned mission in 2025. The process of recruiting and selecting those willing to live on Mars is on. This mission has not been criticized by the scientific community, which believes that the project is not viable. An investigation by a group of MIT students revels that the mission is technically not viable.
It is a nonprofit organization that seeks to send a manned spacecraft to send a manned mission to Mars while using a minimum of fuel. The crew of this 501-day free return mission will consist of 2 persons, a man and a woman.
The launch date depends on when the entire technology life support for the crew is ready.
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