Mars Mission: It's Now or Never
By Silvana Peters | June 5, 2014 3:03 PM EST
An Atlas V United Launch Alliance rocket lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft in Cape Canaveral, Florida November 18, 2013. The Mars-bound MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
The National Research Council has released a long-awaited report penned by a group of experts on the United States' human spaceflight program. The report discusses the goal for humans to reach Mars and the critical concerns regarding funding such a momentous objective.
The 286-page report titled Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration was mandated by Congress and took 18 months to finalise and found that reaching the Red Planet would require a well-financed, "disciplined" approach with a continuous budget and timeline of succeeding missions.
One of the reports key recommendations is to focus on the moon. While the administration has previously remarked its opposition to moon landings, the report recognised learning opportunities. It stated a "return to extended surface operations on the moon would make significant contributions to a strategy ultimately aimed at landing people on Mars, and... would also likely provide a broad array of opportunities for international and commercial cooperation."
With the large demand a mission to the moon would require, the experts cited the importance of approaching the goal in a different way. It may require working with different actors in both the public and private sectors. It also makes a case for working with China which has shown "rapid development" in space capacities.
"This is affirmation that a mission to Mars is a go," said the senator. "But as the report points out, we'll have to give NASA sufficient resources to get this done."
See the full Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration report here.
View the report's video summary:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Celebrities Who Got Pregnant Using IVF: Busting the Myths About IVF
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- NASA Scientists Advance Understanding of Climate Change With The Help Of IceCube
- First Ever Man-Made Leaf That Could Provide Oxygen During Space Travel: A Breathtaking Leap [Watch Video]
- Hair Iron Could Spell the Future of Instant Hair Colour - US Engineers [Watch Video]
- NASA: Early Earth Likely To Have Been Hit By Giant Asteroids
- Brown Fat Reduces Obesity, Diabetes Risk: Study
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Twin Malaysia Airlines MH370, MH17 Aviation Disasters Create Phobia Among Travellers
- OnePlus One vs. Moto X+1 – Early Specifications, Release Date and Price Faceoff
- 2014 Ebola Outbreak: ‘Out of control… and Can Get Worse'; Asky Airline Stops Flying to Liberia, Sierra Leone; Liberia Closes Schools