Print 11 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Apr 13 at 11:29 AM

NASA plans to explore Mars sometime in the 2030's

NASA recently announced that it has committed to a manned mission to Mars at an unspecified point in the future, and that the International Space Station will be a crucial part of reaching that goal.

Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, announced the Mars mission to a group of educators, scientists, astronauts and industry members at the International Space Station and Mars Conference on April 6. The conference is a two-day event that is presented by Explore Mars at George Washington University. Explore Mars promotes the search for technology that aids in the exploration of Mars. 

Bolden discussed the use of the International Space Station as a research and testing facility for future Mars expeditions, noting that such a voyage to our neighbor in the solar system would serve as "inspiration for a whole new generation." 

"I know my granddaughters will be witnessing humans arriving at Mars," said Bolden. "Like the President, I believe such a journey is possible in my lifetime. But what I know today is that we have an amazing engineering resource in space right now - the International Space Station. and we're moving out on the innovation and technological breakthroughs that are required to get us to our neighboring planet."

The International Space Station was built in 1998, and was the result of five space agencies representing 15 countries. This space station took $100 billion to construct and is the largest structure made in space by humans. 

"Over the next 10 years, we'll continue to collaborate with other nations to live and work together in space, and perform cutting edge research and technology demonstrations that are critical to eventual exploration into deep space with humans," said Bolden. "The ISS is the most realistic analog we have to test life support and other technologies, ensuring they function in space, and most importantly, that they are reliable.

"Any mission to Mars is likely to be a global effort. The ISS is a blend of goals among the participating space agencies, and it is truly beautiful in that regard alone."

Bolden mentioned that NASA plans to explore Mars sometime in the 2030's, but plan to travel to an asteroid as soon as 2015. In addition, NASA hopes to keep the International Space Station open until at least 2020. 

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By TEAMSWITCHER on 4/9/2011 3:33:06 PM , Rating: -1
Let me see if I have this right. We have a 1.6 Trillion dollar annal spending deficit. This week the government announced only 78 Billion dollars in spending cuts. We have another 1.52 Trillion to go before we balance the budget. I don't think there is going to be a Mars mission any time soon. In fact, I think it's time to close the doors at NASA for the foreseeable future.

Let's face it we simply cannot afford to own a space station. Ronald Reagan was idiot for starting the project in the first place. NASA was retarded for building it. And now, I think they should plan it's de-orbit over the continental US on a clear night so all americans can enjoy the fireworks.

RE: Hmm..
By thorr2 on 4/9/2011 5:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that spending cuts are necessary, I don't feel that space exploration is the place to make the cuts. When we get to the asteroid, it will be totally awesome and make me proud to be a part of history. You don't get to watch since you think it is a waste of money. :-P

RE: Hmm..
By iceonfire1 on 4/11/2011 2:10:43 AM , Rating: 1
Troll much, "Teamswitcher"?

RE: Hmm..
By Iketh on 4/11/2011 5:34:57 AM , Rating: 1
you're breed will die with the rest of you 1000 years from now as the rest of us will spread throughout the universe

keep acting like you're perfectly safe on this planet without a need for an alternative

RE: Hmm..
By The Raven on 4/11/2011 3:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
as the rest of us will spread throughout the universe

Like a plague...
It would be great if you and your out of reality types colonize Mars, only to be smashed by an asteroid.

So much for safety.

RE: Hmm..
By Mogglewump on 4/11/2011 9:43:10 AM , Rating: 1
I think the important word here might be 'International'. It may come as a surprise, but it's not actually an American space station but rather belongs to all of the countries that invested in it and assisted in it's construction.

Once the shuttle's finished in July it'll be predominantly Russian rockets which go up to resupply and rotate personnel.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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