NASA’s Plans For Mars

Written by Andrew Rudin, Science & Tech Editor

NASA gave a press release April 28 about its plans for Mars. These plans detail how NASA will lead a manned expedition to the red planet, joining the race to Mars that SpaceX and other private companies have already begun.

Getting humans to Mars has been talked about in science fiction and in many scientific shows. It is a dream moving ever so closer to reality. SpaceX made the biggest step forward when they announce they were going to get man to Mars. They have been testing their Falcon series rockets ever since, in order to prepare for the expedition.

We’re in Phase 0 now, conducting tests at the International Space Station (ISS) and developing partnerships with private space companies.” These tests will continue to the end of the year, reported by NASA will be conducting similar tests as SpaceX.

Phase 1 involves launching and testing six Space Launch System rockets. These SLS rockets will carry components of the Deep Space Gateway close to the Moon. The DSG is a new space station that will be built to assists astronauts en route to Mars. Keeping these individuals comfortable and prepared is important as they will be embarking on a 2-3 year long mission. This phase will begin  2018 and carry on to 2025.

Next is phase 2. This involves launching a Deep Space Transport toward the newly built lunar station. Astronauts will be kept in the DST for over 400 days. The estimated time this phase will be initiated is between 2027 and 2029.

The final two phases involve restocking the DST and finally heading towards Mars. This is the clearest plan available to the public. NASA will face its own challenges on completing this mission, but it’s the most promising. 2033 is the goal of completion and the plans have already been laid out.