A manned mission to Mars may be closer than many think. According to NASA, they expect humans to be landing on Mars sometime in the 2030’s.
NASA has said that it is no longer a question of if but more of a matter of when it will actually happen.
“We can learn a lot about planet Earth by going to Mars… They were very similar planets at their early stages, and they just went in different directions,” said astronaut Mike Massimino on America’s Newsroom Wednesday.
The differences will make it challenging for humans of course. Mars only has about 1/3 of the gravity that Earth has. Also, there is significantly more carbon dioxide and much less oxygen than humans are used to on Earth. These are only a few among many of the major differences and challenges human’s would face if they were to go to Mars.
NASA chief administrator Charles Bolden has said recently that he feels a manned mission to Mars is necessary for the survival of the human race.
“If this species is to survive indefinitely we need to become a multi-planet species. We need to go to Mars, and Mars is a stepping stone to other solar systems,” Bolden said at the Humans 2 Mars summit on Tuesday.
Bolden said that with increases in NASA’s budget they could reach Mars by the 2030’s, however, that will be easier said than done.
The United States government is massively in debt and there is still a lot of debate raging as to where spending should be cut, so it will be difficult to obtain the funding that is necessary for the mission. Critics have said that even with budget increases, NASA will face major challenges in trying to accomplish the mission safely on the proposed budget.
Cosmos host and well known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is a big proponent of getting humans to Mars, and has criticized the U.S. government for not funding such projects.
“I blame government for not having invested in big enough science projects so that people could realize the value of science in their lives,” Tyson said.
Tyson is not alone. A recent pole taken on ExploreMars found that 67% of people surveyed were in support of a manned mission to Mars.
How Close Are We To Having A Manned Mission To Mars? Maybe Closer Than You Might Think