TRUMP wants astronauts on the moon by 2024 and humans on Mars by 2033 but experts now think visiting the Red Planet by that time is highly unlikely.
A number of challenges are thought to be standing in the way of the US president’s ambitions and they’re said to be more budget and politics related than scientific issues.
AP:Associated Press Trump wants men on Mars by 2033
Head of the future space habitats lab at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Robert Howard reportedly said: “A lot of people want us to have an Apollo moment, and have a president stand up like Kennedy and say, we’ve got to do it and the entire country comes together.
“If that happened, I would actually say 2027. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think in our current approach, we are going to be lucky to do it by the 2037 date.”
However, Howard stated that with a pessimistic outlook and assuming there is some political dithering then it could be the 2060s before humans land on Mars.
All the design work for the mission still needs to be done from what the rocket will look like to how food will be grown.
EPA Political dithering could delay the mission
It currently only takes three days to get to the Moon but in a worst case scenario the Mars mission could take two years.
Scientists now need to work out how to protect Mars astronauts from prolonged exposure to solar and cosmic radiation.
Another issue is that current plant system models for sustainable food are not suitable to take to Mars because they’re too big.
Jennifer Heldman, a NASA planetary scientist, added: “I actually think a big deal is the suits.”
AP:Associated Press Nasa’s Curiosity Mars rover took this selfie in the Gale Crater on Mars
Nasa is said to be working on a new space suits for the first time in 40 years, which should make it easier to conduct more intricate procedures in Space.
Protecting astronauts and their equipment from lunar dust will also be a much bigger problem on Mars than it is on the Moon.
Techniques to exploit resources on Mars for water, oxygen and fuel should any run out also don’t exist yet and astronauts need to be trained how to deal with all medical emergencies.
Perhaps most importantly, artificial intelligence still needs to be created to assist and guide the astronauts who won’t always be able to contact Houston and therefore might suffer some psychological distress.
A researcher who was paid by NASA to study the likelihood of getting to Mars by 2033 concluded the plan was “infeasible.”
How long does it take to get to Mars?It’s not that short of a trip…
There’s an immense distance between Earth and Mars, which means any trip to the red planet will take a very long time
It’s also made more complicated by the fact that the distance is constantly changing as the two planets rotate around the sun
The closest that the Earth and Mars would ever be is a distance of 33.9million miles – that’s 9,800 times the distance between London and New York
That’s really rare though: the more useful distance is the average, which is 140million miles
Scientists on Earth have already launched a whole bunch of spacecraft to (or near) Mars, so we have a rough idea of how long it takes with current technology
Historically, the trip has taken anywhere from 128 to 333 days – admittedly a huge length of time for humans to be on board a cramped spacecraft.
Nasa reveals winners of its Mars 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge
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In other news, Japan is ready to mine Mars’s largest moon after successfully completing all of the compulsory ‘space contamination’ paperwork.
Nasa managed to record the incredible sound of a ‘Marsquake’ – which you can listen to here.
And, astronomers have revealed that a rogue space rock that smashed into the Moon during January’s lunar eclipse was travelling at around 38,000 miles an hour.
Do you think humans will be getting to Mars anytime soon? Let us know in the comments…
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