Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Humans could land on Mars by 2035 thanks to manned Moon mission in five years, Nasa chief claims

Sean Keach
Digital Technology and Science Editor
22 Oct 2019
Updated: 22 Oct 2019, 17:25

We might land there. 
We won't live there.
There is no home comfort.


The atmosphere on Mars is extremely thin. Mars is an extremely cold planet with an average temperature around minus-80 degrees. Temperatures can dip to minus-225 degrees around the poles. Periods of warmth are brief — highs can reach 70 degrees for a brief time around Noon at the equator in the summer.

Space agency chief Jim Bridenstine made the bold claim, saying the advanced timeline is thanks to the ongoing mission to put man back on the Moon.
 NASA has doubled down on his promise to land humans on Mars in the 2030s – potentially as early as 2035

Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine thinks we could put humans on Mars by 2035Credit: EPA

Nasa is currently planning to return to the lunar surface with a manned mission in just five years.

"If we are accelerating the moon landing, we are accelerating the Mars landing," Jim said, speaking at the International Astronautical Congress.

"I suggest we can do it by 2035."

It follows his previous claim in April that Nasa could be on the red planet by 2033. 


A journey to the red planet could be accelerated due to advancements in space exploration made for the 2024 manned mission to MarsCredit: Getty - Contributor

"We can move up the Mars landing by moving up the Moon landing [to 2024]," Jim explained at the time.

"We need to learn how to live and work in another world. The Moon is the best place to prove those capabilities and technologies.

"The sooner we can achieve that objective, the sooner we can move on to Mars."

Mars facts

Here's what you need to know about the red planet...
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun
It is named after the Roman god of war
The landmass of Mars is very similar to Earth but due to the difference in gravity you could jump three times higher there than you can here
Mars is mountainous and hosts the tallest mountain known in the Solar System called Olympus Mons, which is three times higher than Everest
Mars is considered to be the second most habitable planet after Earth
It takes the planet 687 Earth days to orbit the Sun
So far, there has been 39 missions to Mars but only 16 of these have been successful 


We've already put man-made objects – like the Nasa InSight lander – on the surface of MarsCredit: AP:Associated Press

Nasa is already testing possible space habitats that could be used by astronauts travelling to Mars.

But 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.


Nasa is already inspecting prototypes for inflatable space habitats that could be used on a manned Mars mission. Olympus, a conceptual design for a large space station with 2,250 cubic meters of volume, is displayed during a tour of Bigelow Aerospace in North Las Vegas, NevadaCredit: Reuters 


A model of a Mars base featuring Bigelow Aerospace B330 inflatable space stationsCredit: Reuters 


Journalists tour the interior of Bigelow's Olympus, a conceptual design for a large space station with 2,250 cubic meters of volumeCredit: Reuters 


An airlock is shown at the entrance of a Bigelow Aerospace B330 inflatable space station testing unitCredit: Reuters

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.

President Donald Trump urged Nasa in March to accelerate its latest moon-landing plans by four years.

As a result, Nasa is currently working towards a 2024 manned mission to the Moon.

The request came a few months ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar footsteps by Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Nasa has named the program Artemis after Apollo's twin sister in Greek mythology and promises the first moonwalking team will include a woman. 

Nasa's Artemis lunar mission – key facts
Here's everything we know so far...
Nasa has pledged to land man on the Moon in 2024
The mission, dubbed Artemis, will mark the first time astronauts have set foot on the lunar surface since 1972
A giant Nasa rocket dubbed the Space Launch System will carry astronauts beyond Earth's atmosphere
Once at the Moon, two astronauts will descend to the surface from an orbiting craft called the Lunar Gateway
Nasa has pledged that one of the landing crew will be female, marking the first time a woman has set foot on the Moon
The pair would land on the lunar south pole, where vast reserves of frozen water could be tapped for future explorers
The landing system that brought the astronauts to the surface will then blast back to the orbiting Gateway satellite
They will board an Orion capsule for the 250,000-mile trip back to Earth
Nasa has a mountain of technical challenges to overcome before Artemis gets the green light
It's still not clear if everything will be ready in time for the ambitious 2024 launch date
Nasa boss Jim Bridenstine has said the Moon will serve as a critical training ground for Mars expeditions, perhaps in the 2030s

The pair would land on the lunar south pole, where vast reserves of frozen water could be tapped for future explorers.

Nasa boss Jim Bridenstine, who's pushing Artemis every chance he gets, stresses the goal is sustainability this time around, with the moon serving as a critical training ground for Mars expeditions, perhaps in the 2030s.

NASA's replacement for the Apollo-era Saturn V rocket the Space Launch System or SLS is still in development.

Its launch debut has slipped repeatedly and, according to Bowersox, will now occur no earlier than the end of next year.

This initial test flight will send an Orion capsule around the moon with no one on board.

The space agency still needs to come up with new lunar landers, rovers and spacesuits.

The last Apollo mission to the moon was in 1972.

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