When are we going to Mars? In the last decade, every space lover was looking forward to seeing humans going to Mars aboard SpaceX Starship in 2024. However, we are a few months away to enter 2024. So, should we still be expecting humans to fly to Mars by 2024 or even within this decade? Here are reasons why we are not going to Mars within this decade.
When are Going to Mars? Here are what will actually stop us from reaching the red planet Within This Decade
Mars is one of the most fascinating celestial bodies to visit because of its slight similarities with Earth. Despite its hostile nature to host any form of life known to humans, the planet still has a tiny atmosphere, seasons, 24-hour time zone, ice, harsh winds, and other similar environmental conditions to Earth. Space agencies are interested in going to Mars to extend our scientific exploration to another planet.
With the development of the SpaceX starship in the last decade, everyone was hopeful that we will send the first crew to the red planet in this decade. However, several challenges may be stopping us from achieving such a feat for mankind. When are going to Mars? Yes, we have sent several rovers, orbiters, and landers to the red planet. But we may not be sending humans to Mars in this decade because of these challenges.
If we must get to Mars in this decade, space agencies must rely on developing powerful space vehicles and other technologies to successfully put humans on the red planet. SpaceX Starship, which is the most sophisticated space vehicle built by humans can take humans to Mars. However, during its first test space flight on April 20, the massive spaceship exploded four minutes into the launch.
But SpaceX still remains hopeful of making another launch attempt anytime soon. While SpaceX is focusing on its Mars goals, the commercial space agency is also working on its contracts with NASA and other agencies. Although the company earlier anticipates landing the first crew on Mars in 2024, However, SpaceX may adjust its human red planet missions to early next decade. Aside from space vehicles, sending humans to the red planet require solutions to several technological challenges.
Some of these challenges include providing life support systems for the long space flight, protecting the crew from space radiation, developing advanced propulsion systems, and developing efficient methods to land humans on Mars and return them safely to Earth. Space agencies will focus on overcoming these technological challenges within this decade and provide safer technologies for human missions to Mars by the next decade.
Setting and Accomplishing Space Exploration Goals
If we must succeed in reaching Mars by the next decade, space agencies have to focus on accomplishing their space exploration goals. For example, we need to deploy several ideas and knowledge we learned from crewed missions to the moon in exploring Mars in the next decade. If a space agency like NASA neglects its lunar exploration goals, it will surely affect NASA’s crewed missions to the red planet. The space agency is working on setting up a lunar base and placing a space station around the moon.
These infrastructures will enable astronauts to access the lunar surface and survive on the moon. NASA is currently planning for its Artemis II, III, IV, and V crewed mission to the moon within this decade. From these missions, NASA will learn how to sustain humans around and on the surface of another celestial body using 21st-century technologies. The knowledge obtained from these crewed missions will make the human mission to the red planet a successful one.
Risk Assessment and Safety Management
Unlike sending robotic spacecraft, going to the red planet require several risk factors which space agencies must carefully analyze before commencing human exploration on Mars. Some of these risk factors include the harsh Mars environment, radiation exposure, the effect of long space travel on the human body, psychological effects, and other emotional effects of living on another celestial body. Space agencies need to carefully assess all these risk factors and provide safety management systems to counter them.
NASA for example is hoping to use the knowledge it will obtain from building lunar bases to build protective habitat on the red planet. So when are we going to Mars? Space agencies hoping to put humans on Mars in the 2030s need to provide them with highly protective spacesuits, mobile human rovers, and other technologies that will keep the crew safe in the hostile environment of the red planet.
No Human Infrastructure Built On Mars
If we are going to Mars in the decade, space agencies must have started sending human infrastructures to the red planet by now. However, all attention is currently focused on sending humans to the moon as it remains the closest celestial body to our home planet.
Currently, we only have robotic rovers and landers as man-made objects on the red planet. Although space agencies are already working on technologies that will make humans survive on Mars, they are more focused on landing humans on the south pole of the lunar surface. Hence, we should be expecting human-based infrastructures on the Martian surface by the next decade.
Cost and Funding
Unlike sending robotic spacecraft to the red planet, a crewed mission to Mars will cost a lot. The high expenses range from the cost of developing the Mars technologies to the cost of launching the spaceship and sustaining the crew throughout the mission. Hence, any space agencies hoping to reach the red planet must secure proper funding to afford the entire process of sending humans to the red planet. So when are we going to Mars?
Currently, most space agencies are funding manned missions to the Moon. This implies that funding for crewed missions to Mars will likely commence after we must have established a permanent human presence on the moon.
Any country or space agency hoping to send humans to the red planet will have to partner with other international organizations for the success of the mission. Currently, different international bodies are collaborating to operate the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. So when are we going to Mars?
NASA is also collaborating with different nations for its Artemis Space Program to the moon. During the crewed mission to Mars, many countries will also collaborate for the success of the mission. However, going to the red planet requires lots of international collaboration for success.
Conclusion On When are we going to Mars
Going to Mars is one of the most challenging tasks any space agency could embark on. However, a manned mission to the Moon will surely open the door to a crewed mission to the red planet and beyond. But with the way things are going, we may not be going to Mars in this decade. Hopefully, we will likely send humans to the red planet in the next decade.