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Mon, Nov 19, 2018

NASA: Human Exploration Of Mars Decades In The Future

SpaceX Feels It May Be Able To Get There Much Sooner

Call it the difference between government and private sector thinking. NASA officials say it will be at least 25 years before humans will be able to land on Mars. But SpaceX says they may at least have the technology available next year.

USA Today reports that former NASA Astronaut Tom Jones said recently that there are many technical hurdles to be overcome before a Mars mission could be attempted. Those include creating technology that can protect astronauts from deadly radiation, and building a spacecraft that can safely travel to and land on Mars, then return with its human crew and cargo.

In an era of budgets that are largely flat or maybe growing very slowly, Jones said it could take as long as 25 years to solve those and other problems. Earlier this year, NASA chief scientist Jim Green told USA Today that there is a Mars mission tentatively planned for 2040 ... if the technology can be developed to make it feasible.

But Elon Musk thinks SpaceX may be able to reach Mars much sooner. With his red Tesla Roadster "driven" by the mannequin astronaut "Starman" currently past the orbit of Mars, Musk has said that SpaceX could conceivably have spacecraft that are capable of traveling to Mars as soon as next year.

As with most such things, the actual answer may be somewhere in the middle.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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