Mars is the next big accomplishment for mankind. While stepping on the moon was an important milestone, our culture has been obsessed with pushing further into the depths of space.
Several TV shows and movies have explored the subject of traveling on Mars, but only now is it starting to become a reality. Humans are finally getting ready to see this little red planet first hand.
Planning the First Trip to Mars
NASA has been arbitrarily planning a trip to Mars for several years; however, President Trump is taking efforts to help make this dream a reality. The President has ordered a mandate to send humans to Mars in 2033. While they have not released specific plans, NASA has announced a five-phase plan.
Currently, NASA is in Phase 0 of its detailed plans. This is the testing phase, where NASA researchers are building the infrastructure and gathering the resources for the journey ahead.
Simulations of space suits seen on Mars from Nat Geo’s ‘MARS’.
More advanced testing will occur in Phase 1. NASA intends to use SLS rockets to deliver supplies to the Deep Space Gateway. This means developing a new space station close to the moon, acting as a pit stop for astronauts on their way to Mars.
Phase 2 will take place around 2027, with astronauts living in Deep Space Transport tubes for 400 days. Tubes will be sent to the Deep Space Gateway in 2027, 2028, and 2029.
Phase 3 will be a restocking phase to ensure the astronauts have adequate supplies for their journey to Mars. This will take place in 2030. The last phase is the arrival to Mars in 2033.
NASA’s Journey to Mars
Troubles Getting to Mars
There are several issues with sending people to Mars. Aside from the enormous amounts of money required, there are also health concerns for astronauts. NASA expects to face dozens of additional obstacles, such as keeping the astronauts healthy during their long, three-year round trip. Keeping each ship fully stocked with food, water and supplies may prove difficult. Mental health is also a major concern for astronauts living inside of the tube for years at a time. Private companies, such as SpaceX and Boeing, have also announced goals to get people to Mars by 2022, creating some fierce competition.
These are excerpts of article that originally appeared in sci-techuniverse