Travel to Mars – It May Be Closer Than You Think

Landing a human on Mars occupies the imagination and energy of the more ambitious space explorers; yet, travel to Mars is fast becoming a reality. NASA, America’s space agency, lists six key technologies that will allow humans to successful land on Mars and return safely.

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    Travel to Mars – It May Be Closer Than You Think

    Travel to Mars – It May Be Closer Than You Think

    It’s been over 50 years since man first landed on the moon. While the moon continues to receive serious attention, it is landing a human on Mars that occupies the imagination and energy of the more ambitious space explorers; yet, travel to Mars is fast becoming a reality.

    The Six Technologies Needed for Travel to Mars

    NASA, America’s space agency, lists six key technologies that will allow humans to successfully land on Mars and return safely.

    1. Powerful propulsion systems to travel the 140-million-mile round trip. This remains a question mark, but it is likely to be nuclear enabled.
    2. An inflatable heat shield to protect the much larger craft needed to land humans on the planet. A prototype is in the testing stage.
    3. A next generation spacesuit to provide life support in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere, keep astronauts warm and allow a satisfactory range of motion.
    4. Construction of a Martian home and lab that will be delivered to the surface of Mars separately from the human landing. Tests are underway on a lunar home and lab that will provide lessons for developing a Martian one.
    5. A nuclear fission power station to provide reliable power to astronauts while on the surface of Mars. Such a system is expected to be tested on the Moon.
    6. Development of laser communications capability since radio signals can take up to nine years to be received. (Laser communication cuts this delay to nine weeks.) With a successful demo of the technology in 2013, testing will continue to refine the technology.

    The State of Mars Travel

    The United States has already landed four separate rovers on Mars, while unmanned exploration by the U.S., China and the United Arab Emirates is expected over the next several years. A European-Russian collaboration is also working on sending an unmanned craft to Mars in the near future.

    Perhaps the most exciting part of this era’s space travel is the introduction of the private sector.

    SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, was formed with the sole objective of colonizing Mars. SpaceX has a long way to go before realizing this dream, with testing still being conducted on the company’s 100-person Starship and giant rocket Super Heavy—two key elements in Musk’s grand plan. Competing with SpaceX is a partnership between NASA and private companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin.

    While NASA doesn’t believe human travel to Mars can happen before 2033, Elon Musk believes it can be sooner.

    Please reference disclosures: https://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures/

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