NASA improves its strategy to get humans to Mars

Artist's conception of an early Martian base.

Artist’s conception of an early Martian base.
picture: NASA

NASA agency Next Artemis Moon Program Serve as a springboard for an eventual manned mission to Mars. A revised list of planning objectives details a strategy to accomplish this hard feat.

The documentchest Tuesday, serve As a blueprint for how humans will eventually be sent to Mars. NASA has chosen to use a “moon to Mars” strategy, in which the space agency, with the help of commercial and international partners, will acquire the technology and skills needed to operate on the moon, and then use those lessons for a manned mission. to Mars, tentatively scheduled for the late 1930s or early 1940s.

Earlier this year, NASA coined 50 high-level goals for the program, And in June Requested Members of the workforce, public and private companies, and international partners to align with. This was followed by double workshops to materialize Beyond these thoughts.

In total, NASA received more than 5,000 recommendations, which allowed the space agency to improve its pre-existing list of goals and add completely new ones. The resulting 63 goals reflect a “mature strategy” for NASA and its partners as they develop the plan For “continued human presence and exploration throughout the solar system,” according to NASA press release.

“Our first draft of Moon-to-Mars targets was intentionally broad, and the overwhelming responses we received encouraged us to be broader in some areas, but more specific in others,” NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Milroy wrote in the document forward. “We have evolved from 50 goals to 63 goals, spanning interdisciplinary science, transportation and habitation, lunar and Martian infrastructure, operations, and a new field: Recurring Principles.”

Cleverly, the revised strategy remains closely aligned with NASA’s Artemis program, which seeks to return humans to the moon, This time forever. Thus, the 63 high-level targets included in the new document are a combination of requirements for the Moon and Mars. The new goals were divided into five categories: recurring beliefs, science, infrastructure, transportation and housing, and operations.

Recurring beliefs reflect common themes across all goals, such as international and industry cooperation, ensuring crew health and safe return to Earth, increasing the time available for crews to perform science and engineering activities during the course of the mission, and “promoting the expansion of the economic space beyond Earth’s orbit to support industry and innovation in the United States.” I don’t like the specific reference to “American industry and innovation,” as this international endeavor must also seek to boost partner nations’ economies, which it is very likely to do. But like a lot of the things NASA says and does, there are political factors that need to be taken into account; The space agency should always be comfortable up to Congress, Portfolio guard.

Science objectives from the Moon to Mars should touch on planetary science, helioscience, human and biological sciences, and basic physics, among other fields. Ideally, we should work on optimizing files Understand the early solar system, the geology of the Moon and Mars, the origin of life, space weather, the history of the Sun, and the harmful effects of long-term missions on biological systems, including humans, according to the document. During the program, we must “assess how the interaction of exploration systems and the deep space environment affects human health, performance, and human factors in space to inform future exploration class missions,” explains the Moon to Mars chart.

Specific infrastructure goals for both the Moon and Mars environments include power generation, various robotic capabilities, communications infrastructure, navigation and timing (i.e. ensuring synchronization between devices, some of which will be separated by vast distances)and use of the resources on the site. For transportation and accommodation, the scheme seeks to develop “an integrated system of systems to conduct a campaign of human exploration missions to the Moon and Mars, while living and working on the Moon and Mars, with a safe return to Earth.”

Operational requirements to enable human missions on both the Moon and Mars establish command and control operations, and operate surface navigation systems (such as spacesuits, gadgets, and vehicles)Communication delays are calculated. Surprisingly, the document also requests “the ability to find, maintain, upgrade or use tools and equipment from robotic landers or previous human missions on the Moon and Mars.” This blows my mind, and all of a sudden I imagine Martian crews poaching NASA’s Insight probe For spare parts or repair defunct Opportunity Rover.

“We’re helping direct humanity’s global movement into deep space,” Jim Frey, NASA associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, said in the press release. “The goals will help ensure a long-term strategy for solar system exploration that can keep purpose, changing the political climate, and funding consistent.”

These objectives are as necessary as they are arduous, as project planners strive to achieve mission objectives while ensuring the safety of their crews. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who eagerly claims he will implant a A million colonists on Mars by 2050, they should take note. To get to Mars, there’s more to it than just packing spacecraft with colonists and I wish them well.

more: Elon Musk’s plan to send a million colonists to Mars by 2050 is an illusion.

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