A Mars mission architecture SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk will unveil in September will call for a series of missions starting in 2018 leading up to the first crewed mission to the planet in 2024, Musk said June 1.
NASA is on a journey to Mars, with an objective of sending people to the Red Planet in the 2030s. That adventure is now well under way. For decades, the agency and its partners have sent orbiters, landers and wanderers, drastically expanding our insight about the Red Planet and preparing for future human pioneers.
The Curiosity rover has accumulated radiation information to enable us to secure future space explorers, and the upcoming Mars 2020 rover will study the availability of Martian resources, including oxygen.
There is something else entirely to learn as we expand humanity’s presence into the solar system: Was Mars once home to microbial life or is it today? Can it be a safe home for humans? What can the Red Planet teach us about our own planet’s past, present and future?
Building on the robotic legacy, the human exploration of Mars crosses three thresholds, each with increasing challenges as people move more remote from Earth: Earth Reliant, the Proving Ground, and Earth Independent.
A human mission to Mars has been the subject of science-fiction, aerospace engineering, and scientific proposals since the 19th century. . The designs contain recommendations to arrive on Mars, in the long run settling on and terraforming the planet, while using its moons, Phobos and Deimos.
Earth Reliant exploration is centered around explore on board the International Space Station. The orbiting microgravity laboratory serves as a world-class test bed for the technologies and communications systems needed for human missions to deep space.
Space travelers are finding out about what it takes to live and work in space for long periods of time, increasing our understanding of how the body changes in space and how to protect astronaut health.
They additionally working with business team and payload accomplices to give access to low-Earth circle and inevitably empower new monetary movement, enabling NASA to keep utilizing the station while planning for missions past.
Next, we move into the Proving Ground, leading a progression of missions close to the moon – they call it “cislunar space” – that will test the capacities we should live and work at Mars. Space explorers on the space station are only hours away from Earth, but the proving ground is days away, a natural stepping stone to a Mars mission, which will be months away from home.
The first of these missions will launch NASA’s powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The mission will convey the Orion rocket (without space explorers) a large number of miles past the moon the moon during an approximately three week mission (Watch Mission Animation Video). Next up, space explorers will move into Orion for a similar mission, traveling farther than humans have ever traveled before.
Additionally in the 2020s, NASA send space travelers on a yearlong mission into this profound space demonstrating ground, verifying habitation and testing our readiness for Mars. Another proving ground milestone is the Asteroid Redirect Mission. NASA will send a robotic spacecraft to capture an asteroid boulder and put it in a safe orbit around the moon.
Astronauts on Orion will then investigate the space rock, coming back to Earth with tests. This two-section mission will test both profound space spacewalking and examining methods and Solar Electric Propulsion, which we’ll have to send payload as a component of human missions to Mars.
Finally , we progress toward becoming Earth Independent, expanding on what we’ve learned on the space station and in profound space to send people to low-Mars circle in the mid 2030s.
This phase will likewise test the entry, descent and landing techniques expected to get to the Martian surface and study what’s needed for in-situ resource utilization or “living off the land.” NASA is already studying potential “Exploration Zones” on Mars that would offer compelling science research and provide resources our astronauts can use.
Science missions are already in the Independent phase, with the next rover due in 2020. Mars is the next tangible frontier for human exploration, and it’s an achievable goal. There are challenges to pioneering Mars, but we know they are solvable. We are well on our way to getting there, landing there, and living there.