Despite the technological and medical challenges, NASA is betting on taking men to Mars in a 25-year period, according to retired astronaut Tom J. Jones, who traveled space on various missions.
"With current budgets, or something higher, it will take about 25 years to solve these challenges," he explained at a press conference in Washington. He added: "We need to start now with certain key technologies."
NASA's former astronaut, Tom Jones, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington. (AFP)
At about 225 million kilometers, Mars poses a greater challenge than Apollo's missions to the moon.
With existing technology today, an astronaut will take up to nine months to reach Mars, And the physical cost of floating so much zero gravity will be enormous.
For example, scientists believe that this can cause irreversible changes in blood vessels of the retina, which will lead to degradation of vision. In addition, after zero gravitational time, the skeleton will begin to lose calcium tissue and bone tissues.
NASA's Goddard Space Center Chief Scientist, James Gavin, was present at the conference.
With the gravity of only one-third relative to that of the Earth, Experts are still unaware of the effects of a one-year mission on the surface of Mars. One of the ways to reduce the damage to the human body is Significantly reduce travel time to the red star.
Jones believes that nuclear propulsion systems will be of further benefit to the energy production on flights. "If we start now, in 25 years we can get available technologies to help protect ourselves from these long hours," he said.
Under today's conditions, one leg of the trip to Mars will take so long that an astronaut will receive the same amount of radiation considered safe during his career. "We still do not have the solution in terms of safety, in terms of protection against cosmic rays and solar flares that the astronaut was exposed during this transition," explained Jones.
Experts have identified a number of technologies that must be developed rapidly, including A ship that can resist The difficult entry into Mars and landing quietly, and the ability to return passengers to Earth.
NASA has a new robotic landing module Insight He is heading for Mars, where he will land on November 26 after taking off from California on May 5.
The $ 993 million project aims to expand knowledge of the conditions on Mars to send researchers, and to discover how rocky planets like Earth were formed billions of years ago.
In 2020, another NASA mission will send a vehicle to this planet to determine adaptation to the Martian environment, look for signs of ancient life, and assess the natural resources and dangers of future researchers.