NASA elaborates on its plans for the first maned mission to Mars, which it hopes to carry out by the early 2030s.
It’s only a matter of time before man takes the first steps on our closest planetary neighbor, Mars. According to a report from the Huffington Post, the space agency projects that the first astronauts will be ready to walk on the red planet in the 2030s.
According to NASA administrator Charles Bolden, “We are farther down the path to sending humans to Mars than at any point in NASA’s history. We have a lot of work to do to get humans to Mars, but we’ll get there.”
The space agency plans to launch a new rover to the red planet in 2020, which will carry the Mars Oxygen ISRU experiment, or MOXIE. NASA hopes to remove the carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere and replace it with oxygen that could be used to support living things.
Pending the success of the MOXIE experiment during the next rover launch, humans arriving on Mars in the 2030s for the first manned mission will have at least some oxygen to breathe while they carry out their objectives.
NASA deputy administrator Dava Newman says it’s not a matter of if, but of when oxygen will be at safe levels on Mars.
The biggest obstacle to carrying out these daring experiments on the red planet is funding. Congress currently hasn’t given NASA or other agencies sufficient cash to carry out every plan currently on the table, but many are hopeful that as momentum gains for the movement, the funding will show up as well.