Discover How NASA Plans To Send Humans To Mars By 2030
Yesterday, NASA held a public Exploration Forum to detail how the space agency hopes to deliver on their promise of a human mission to Mars by the year 2030. This 'Human Path to Mars' includes a number of key stepping stones that NASA hopes to achieve over the next decade or so, each one more ambitious than the next.
Indeed, NASA engineers are already developing the technologies necessary for what will be the first human exploration of Earth's neighboring planet. Astronauts on the International Space Station are constantly carrying out experiments to help develop our understanding of the challenges posed by what what would be a multi-month journey into deep space. These challenges are both physiological and technological, but with every day that passes on the ISS, NASA and other international space agencies come closer to developing the architecture for a human mission to Mars.
One of the first ambitious steps in NASA's Human Path to Mars is the capture and redirection of a near-Earth asteroid. Once the asteroid is brought closer to Earth, the Orion spacecraft will take a team of astronauts to explore the object and bring samples back to Earth. Capturing an asteroid may seem irrelevant in the grand scheme of sending humans to Mars, but they are actually a vital step in testing new technologies that will prove vital for the execution of deep space missions. New launching systems, solar-powered propulsion technologies and methods for safely returning human cargo to Earth are all going to be tested extensively over the next decade, paving the way for sending humans deeper into space than ever before.