Nasa has released details of its strategy for sending a human crew to Mars within the next few decades, the BBC reports.

MARSNASA is planning to send a 400,000kg crewed spacecraft on a 30-month round trip to Mars as early as February 2031. The details of the planned mission were announced at a meeting in Houston, Texas.

As per the current plans the spacecraft would be assembled in low-Earth orbit using three to four Ares V rockets – the new heavy-lift launch vehicle that Nasa has been developing. Notionally dispatched in February 2031, the mission’s journey from Earth to Mars would take six to seven months in a spacecraft powered by an advanced cryogenic fuel propulsion system.

The cargo lander and surface habitat, which would be nuclear-powered, would be sent to Mars separately, launched before the crew in December 2028 and January 2029, approximately two years ahead of the manned mission. Astronauts could grow their own fruit and vegetables on the way.

Currently that many challenges remain for ensuring safe passage for the crew, like the high levels of cosmic radiation in deep space and on the surface of Mars. They will also need medical equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses or injuries. Nasa proposes using the Moon as a testing ground for many of these new systems.

Lets hope NASA will resolve all the difficulties and the Manned Mars exploration will be successful!

Sometime back, NASA was testing Linux for spacecraft control. We will have to wait and see whether Linux will play a role in this exploration.

Mars Facts/Reference

Mars Facts:

Average Distance from the Sun: 141,633,260 miles
Surface Area: 89,500,000 square miles
Length of Day: 24.62 hours
Length of Year: 686.93 Earth days (1.9 Earth years)
Minimum/Maximum Surface Temperature: -125° to 23° F


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