Overview of gtmars.com (GoToMars)

Welcome to planet Mars

Mars was named by the ancient Romans for their god of war because its reddish color was reminiscent of blood.

Mars Exploration

No planet beyond Earth has been studied as intensely as Mars. Recorded observations of Mars date as far back as the era of ancient Egypt over 4,000 years ago, when they charted the planet's movements in the sky. Today, a science fleet of robotic spacecraft study Mars from all angles. *Six spacecraft are in orbit at Mars. NASA's scient trio are Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey and MAVEN. ESA managed the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Mars Express missions. India's first Red Planet spacecraft — the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) — since 2014. *Two robotic spacecraft are at work on the surface. NASA's Curiosity rover is exploring Mount Sharp in Gale Crater. NASA's InSight, a stationary lander, is probing Mars' interior from a site on a flat smooth plain called Elysium Planitia. *Both NASA and ESA have plans to send new rovers to Mars in 2020.

Smiley face

Other civilizations also named the planet for this attribute; for example, the Egyptians called it "Her Desher," meaning "the red one." Even today, it is frequently called the "Red Planet" because iron minerals in the Martian dirt oxidize, or rust, causing the surface to look red.

Planet Profile

DESCRIPTION

VALUE

DISTANCE FROM SUN

154669868 KM

ONE WAY LIGHT TIME TO THE SUN

13.838302 Minutes

LENGTH OF YEAR

687 Earth Days

DAY

24.6 Earth Hours

RADIUS

2,106 miles | 3,390 kilometers

PLANET TYPE

Terrestrial

HAVE ANY MOONS

2

SURFACE TEMPERATURE

-87 to -5 °C

EQUATORIAL/POLAR DIAMETER

6,805 km/6,755 km

EARLIER DISCOVERY

2nd Millenium BC by Egyptian Astronomers


Qucik tip: Please,"click" on the Each Tab button, to read more about it without reloading the page.

MARS COLONIZATION

Mars is the focus of much scientific study about possible human colonization. The surface conditions of Mars and past presence of water ice make it arguably a feasible endeavor. Permanent human habitation on other planets, including Mars, is one of most prevalent themes in science fiction. Permanent human habitation on other planets, including Mars, is one of most prevalent themes in science fiction. As technology advances, and concerns about humanity's future on Earth increase, arguments favoring space colonization gain momentum. Other reasons for colonizing space include economic interests, long-term scientific research best carried out by humans as opposed to robotic probes, and sheer curiosity.
Smiley face

Both private and public organizations have made commitments to researching the viability of long-term colonization efforts and to taking steps toward a permanent human presence on Mars. Space agencies engaged in research or mission planning include NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, Indian Space Research Organisation and the China National Space Administration, as well as private organizations such as SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing.

Smiley face


With a radius of 2,106 miles (3,390 kilometers), Mars is about half the size of Earth. If Earth were the size of a nickel, Mars would be about as big as a raspberry. From an average distance of 142 million miles (228 million kilometers), Mars is 1.5 astronomical units away from the Sun. One astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU), is the distance from the Sun to Earth. From this distance, it takes sunlight 13 minutes to travel from the Sun to Mars.

As Mars orbits the Sun, it completes one rotation every 24.6 hours, which is very similar to one day on Earth (23.9 hours). Martian days are called sols—short for "solar day." A year on Mars lasts 669.6 sols, which is the same as 687 Earth days. Mars' axis of rotation is tilted 25 degrees with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun. This is another similarity with Earth, which has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees. Like Earth, Mars has distinct seasons, but they last longer than seasons here on Earth since Mars takes longer to orbit the Sun (because it's farther away). And while here on Earth the seasons are evenly spread over the year, lasting 3 months (or one quarter of a year), on Mars the seasons vary in length because of Mars' elliptical, egg-shaped orbit around the Sun. Spring in the northern hemisphere (autumn in the southern) is the longest season at 194 sols. Autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in the southern) is the shortest at 142 days. Northern winter/southern summer is 154 sols, and northern summer/southern winter is 178 sols.

When the solar system settled into its current layout about 4.5 billion years ago, Mars formed when gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in to become the fourth planet from the Sun. Mars is about half the size of Earth, and like its fellow terrestrial planets, it has a central core, a rocky mantle and a solid crust.

Mars has a dense core at its center between 930 and 1,300 miles (1,500 to 2,100 kilometers) in radius. It's made of iron, nickel and sulfur. Surrounding the core is a rocky mantle between 770 and 1,170 miles (1,240 to 1,880 kilometers) thick, and above that, a crust made of iron, magnesium, aluminum, calcium and potassium. This crust is between 6 and 30 miles (10 to 50 kilometers) deep.

The Red Planet is actually many colors. At the surface we see colors such as brown, gold and tan. The reason Mars looks reddish is due to oxidization—or rusting—of iron in the rocks, regolith (Martian “soil”), and dust of Mars. This dust gets kicked up into the atmosphere and from a distance makes the planet appear mostly red. Interestingly, while Mars is about half the diameter of Earth, its surface has nearly the same area as Earth’s dry land. Its volcanoes, impact craters, crustal movement, and atmospheric conditions such as dust storms have altered the landscape of Mars over many years, creating some of the solar system's most interesting topographical features. A large canyon system called Valles Marineris is long enough to stretch from California to New York—more than 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers). This Martian canyon is 200 miles (320 kilometers) at its widest and 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) at its deepest. That's about 10 times the size of Earth's Grand Canyon.

Mars is home to the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons. It's three times taller than Earth's Mt. Everest with a base the size of the state of New Mexico. Mars appears to have had a watery past, with ancient river valley networks, deltas and lakebeds, as well as rocks and minerals on the surface that could only have formed in liquid water. Some features suggest that Mars experienced huge floods about 3.5 billion years ago. There is water on Mars today, but the Martian atmosphere is too thin for liquid water to exist for long on the surface. Today, water on Mars is found in the form of water-ice just under the surface in the polar regions as well as in briny (salty) water, which seasonally flows down some hillsides and crater walls.

Mars has a thin atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and argon gases. To our eyes, the sky would be hazy and red because of suspended dust instead of the familiar blue tint we see on Earth. Mars' sparse atmosphere doesn't offer much protection from impacts by such objects as meteorites, asteroids and comets. The temperature on Mars can be as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or as low as about -225 degrees Fahrenheit (-153 degrees Celsius). And because the atmosphere is so thin, heat from the Sun easily escapes this planet. If you were to stand on the surface of Mars on the equator at noon, it would feel like spring at your feet (75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius) and winter at your head (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius). Occasionally, winds on Mars are strong enough to create dust storms that cover much of the planet. After such storms, it can be months before all of the dust settles.

Scientists don't expect to find living things currently thriving on Mars. Instead, they're looking for signs of life that existed long ago, when Mars was warmer and covered with water.

Overview of History

Mars has Two moons.

Asaph Hall was about to give up his frustrating search for a Martian moon one August night in 1877, but his wife Angelina urged him on. He discovered Deimos the next night, and Phobos six nights after that.Ninety-four years later, NASA's Mariner 9 spacecraft got a much better look at the two moons from its orbit around Mars. The dominant feature on Phobos, it found, was a crater six miles (10 kilometers) wide—nearly half the width of the moon itself. It was given Angelina's maiden name: Stickney.


Overview of MARS Moon

Mars' moons are among the smallest in the solar system. Phobos is a bit larger than Deimos, and orbits only 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) above the Martian surface. No known moon orbits closer to its planet. It whips around Mars three times a day, while the more distant Deimos takes 30 hours for each orbit. Phobos is gradually spiraling inward, drawing about six feet (1.8 meters) closer to the planet each century. Within 50 million years, it will either crash into Mars or break up and form a ring around the planet. To someone standing on the Mars-facing side of Phobos, Mars would take up a large part of the sky. And people may one day do just that. Scientists have discussed the possibility of using one of the Martian moons as a base from which astronauts could observe the Red Planet and launch robots to its surface, while shielded by miles of rock from cosmic rays and solar radiation for nearly two-thirds of every orbit. Like Earth's Moon, Phobos and Deimos always present the same face to their planet. Both are lumpy, heavily-cratered and covered in dust and loose rocks. They are among the darker objects in the solar system. The moons appear to be made of carbon-rich rock mixed with ice and may be captured asteroids.


Phobos has only 1/1,000th as much gravitational pull as Earth. A 150-pound (68 kilogram) person would weigh two ounces (68 grams) there. Yet NASA's Mars Global Surveyor has shown evidence of landslides, and of boulders and dust that fell back down to the surface after being blasted off the moon by meteorites.


How Mars Moons Got Their Names


Hall named the moons for the mythological sons of Ares, the Greek counterpart of the Roman god, Mars. Phobos means fear or panic (think "phobia"), and Deimos means flight (as in running away after an overwhelming defeat). Fitting names for the sons of a war god.


Mars has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, that may be captured asteroids. They're potato-shaped because they have too little mass for gravity to make them spherical. Close up on potato-shaped Phobos Mars' largest moon Phobos as seen by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2008. The moons get their names from the horses that pulled the chariot of the Greek god of war, Ares. In ancient Greek, Phobos means "flight," and Deimos means "fear." Phobos, the innermost and larger moon, is heavily cratered, with deep grooves on its surface. It is slowly moving towards Mars and will crash into the planet or break apart in about 50 million years. Deimos is about half as big as Phobos and orbits two and a half times farther away from Mars. Oddly-shaped Deimos is covered in loose dirt that often fills the craters on its surface, making it appear smoother than pockilometersarked Phobos.

EXPLORATION OF MARS

Exploration of Mars and eventual human travel to it are nothing new. While manned missions have remained financial and logistical near-impossibilities, unmanned missions began in 1960. There have been 56 Mars missions so far, of which 26 have been successful — a testament to the difficulty in reaching the red planet.

Mars has historically been unfriendly to Earth’s attempts to visit it. More missions have been attempted to Mars than to any other place in the Solar System except the Moon, and about half of the attempts have failed. Some of these failures occurred because Mars was the first planet Earth attempted to explore, and the early exploration attempts taught us many lessons that have made subsequent missions more successful. But many failures have occurred relatively recently, proving again and again that space exploration is very, very difficult. But since 1996, Mars exploration has undergone a Renaissance, with data from four orbiters and four landed missions developing a revolutionary new view of Mars as an Earth-like world with a complex geologic history.


MISSION TO THE MOON OF MARS

Missions dedicated to explore the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. Many missions to Mars have also included dedicated observations of the Moons, while this section is about missions focused solely on them. There have been three unsuccessful dedicated missions and many proposals. Smiley face Because of the proximity of the Mars moons to Mars, any mission to them may also be considered a mission to Mars from some perspectives. There have been at least three proposals in the United States Discovery Program, including PADME, PANDORA, and MERLIN. The ESA has also considered a sample return mission, one of the latest known as Martian Moon Sample Return or MMSR, and it may use heritage from an asteroid sample return mission.


LIST OF FUTURE MISSIONS TO MARS

MISSIONS

LAUNCH DATE

ORGANIZATION

TYPE

Hope Mars Mission

July 2020

MBRSC United Arab Emirates

Orbiter

Mars 2020

July 2020

NASA (United States)

Orbiter,Helicopter(Chopper)

ExoMars 2020

July 2020

ESA(European Union) SRI RAS(Russia)

Lander, rover

Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover (HX-1)

July/August 2020

CNSA China

Orbiter, rover

Mars Terahertz Microsatellite

2022

NICT,ISSL(Japan)

Orbiter, lander

Mars Orbiter Mission 2(Mangalyaan 2)

2024

ISRO(India)

Orbiter

Martian Moons Exploration (MMX)

2024

NICT,ISSL(Japan)

Orbiter, Phobos lander

LIST OF SUCCESSFUL MISSIONS TO MARS

SPACECRAFT

LAUNCH DATE

OPERATOR

MISSION

OUTCOME

WHAT HAPPENED

ROCKET-CARRIER

Mariner 4

28-Nov-1964

NASA (United States)

Flyby

Successful

The first flyby of Mars on 15 July 1965

Atlas LV-3 Agena-D

Mariner 6

25-Feb-1969

NASA (United States)

Flyby

Successful

The first flyby of Mars on 15 July 1965

Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D

Mariner 7

27-Mar-1969

NASA (United States)

Flyby

Successful

The first flyby of Mars on 15 July 1965

Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D

Mars 2 (4M No.171)

19-May-1971

Soviet Union

Orbiter

Successful

Entered orbit on 27-Nov -1971,Operated 362 orbits

Proton-K/D

Mars 3 (4M No.172)

28-May-1971

Soviet Union

Orbiter

Successful

Entered orbit on 2- Dec-1971,Operated for 20 orbits

Proton-K/D

Mariner 9

30-May-1971

NASA (United States)

Orbiter

Successful

The first orbiter of Mars. Entered orbit on 14 November 1971, deactivated 516 days after entering orbit

Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D

Viking 1 orbiter

20-Aug-1975

NASA (United States)

Orbiter

Successful

Operated for 1385 orbits

Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T

Viking 1 Lander

20-Aug-1975

NASA (United States)

Lander

Successful

The first lander successfully returning data, deployed from Viking 1 orbiter, operated for 2245 sols

Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T

Viking 2 Orbiter

9-Sep-1975

NASA (United States)

Orbiter

Successful

Operated for 700 orbits

Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T

Viking 2 Lander

9-Sep-1975

NASA (United States)

Lander

Successful

Deployed from Viking 2 orbiter, operated for 1281 sols (11 Apr 1980)

Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T

Mars Global Surveyor

7-Nov-1996

NASA (United States)

Orbiter

Successful

Operated for seven years

Delta II 7925

Mars Pathfinder

4-Dec-1996

NASA (United States)

Lander

Successful

Landed at 19.13°N 33.22°W on 4 July 1997

Delta II 7925

Sojourner

4-Dec-1996

NASA (United States)

Rover

Successful

The first rover on another planet, operated for 84 days

Delta II 7925

Mars Odyssey

7-Apr-2001

NASA (United States)

Orbiter

Operational

Expected to remain operational until 2025

Delta II 7925

Mars Express

2-June-2003

ESA(European Union)

Orbiter

Operational

Enough fuel to remain operational until 2026

Soyuz-FG/Fregat

Spirit(MER-A)

10-June-2003

NASA (United States)

Rover

Successful

Landed on 4-Jan-2004.Operated for 2208 sols

Delta II 7925

Opportunity (MER-B)

8-July-2003

NASA (United States)

Rover

Successful

Landed on 25-Jan-, 2004.Operated for 5351 sols

Delta II 7925H

Rosetta

2-Mar-2004

ESA(European Union)

Gravity Assist

Successful

Flyby in February 2007 en route to 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

Ariane 5G+

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

12-Aug-2005

NASA (United States)

Orbiter

Operational

Entered orbit on 10-Mar-2006

Atlas V 401

Phoenix

4-Aug-2007

NASA (United States)

Lander

Successful

Landed on 25-May-2008. End of mission Nov-02-2008

Delta II 7925

Dawn

27-Sep-2007

NASA (United States)

Gravity assist

Successful

Flyby in February 2009 en route to 4 Vesta and Ceres

Delta II 7925H

Curiosity(Mars Science Laboratory)

26-Nov-2011

NASA (United States)

Rover

Operational

Landed on 6-Aug-2012

Atlas V 541

Mars Orbiter Mission(Mangalyaan)

5-Nov-2013

ISRO(India)

Orbiter

Operational

Succeded in the 1st Attempt. Entered orbit on 24 September 2014. Mission extended till 2020

PSLV-XL

MAVEN

18-Nov-2013

NASA (United States)

Orbiter

Operational

Orbit insertion on September 22, 2014

Atlas V 401

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

14-Mar-2016

ESA/Roscosmos (European Union/Russia)

Orbiter

Operational

Entered orbit on 19-Oct-2016

Proton-M/Briz-M

InSight & MarCO

5-May-2018

NASA (United States)

Lander & two CubeSats flyby

Operational

Landed on November 26, 2018

Atlas V 401

LIST OF HUMAN FUTURE MISSIONS TO MARS

A human mission to Mars has been the subject of science fiction, aerospace engineering, and scientific proposals since the 19th century. Plans include landing on Mars for exploration at a minimum, with the possibility of sending settlers and terraforming the planet and/or exploring its moons Phobos and Deimos also considered. The exploration of Mars has been a goal of national space programs for decades. Conceptual work for missions that would involve human explorers has been ongoing since the 1950s, with planned missions typically being stated as taking place 10 to 30 years in the future when they are drafted. The list of crewed Mars mission plans shows the various mission proposals that have been put forth by multiple organizations and space agencies in this field of space exploration. Plans have varied from scientific expeditions, in which a small (2 to 8) group visits Mars for a period of a few weeks or year, to the permanent colonization of Mars.

Smiley face

Smiley face Smiley face

In the 2010s, numerous US, European, and Asian agencies were developing proposals for human missions to Mars. Mars in fiction is a frequent target of exploration and settlement in books, graphic novels, and films.


List of crewed Mars mission plans

This list of crewed Mars mission plans is a listing of concept studies for a crewed mission to Mars during the 20th and 21st centuries. It is limited to studies done with engineering and scientific knowledge about the capabilities of then current technology, typically for high-budget space agencies like NASA. Mission profiles include crewed flybys, crewed landers, or other types of Mars system encounter strategies. Smiley face

Concepts

Many mission concepts for expeditions to Mars were proposed in the late 20th century. David Portree's history volume Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning, 1950–2000 discusses many of these. Portree notes that every 26 Earth months a lower energy Earth to Mars transfer opportunity opens, so missions typically coincide with one of these windows. In addition, the lowest available transfer energy varies on a roughly 16-year cycle, with a minimum in the 1969 and 1971 launch windows, rising to a peak in the late 70s, and hitting another low in 1986 and 1988. Also of note, the Mariner 4 Mars flyby in 1965 provided radically more accurate data about the planet; a surface atmospheric pressure of about 1% of Earth's and daytime temperatures of −100 degrees Celsius (−148 degrees Fahrenheit) were estimated. No magnetic field or Martian radiation belts were detected. The new data meant redesigns for planned Martian landers, and showed life would have a more difficult time surviving there than previously anticipated. Later NASA probes in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s confirmed the findings about Mars environmental conditions. The first engineering analysis of a crewed mission to Mars was made by Wernher von Braun in 1948. It was originally published as Das Marsprojekt in West Germany in 1952, and as The Mars Project in English in the United States in 1953. Von Braun's Mars "flotilla" included ten 4,000-ton ships with 70 crew members. The expected launch year was 1965.

Smiley face

List

NAME

CREW

LEO(Metric Tons)

YEAR

LAUNCH YEAR

Von Braun Mars 1952 (Das Marsprojekt)

70

37,200

1952

1965

Stuhlinger Mars 1954–1957

20

660

1954

1980

Von Braun Mars 1956 (The Exploration of Mars)

12

3,400

1956

1970

Martian Piloted Complex 1958–1962

6

1,630

1958

1975

TMK-1 1959 (flyby)

6

1,630

1958

1975

TMK-1 1959 (flyby)

3

75

1959

1971

TMK-2 (TMK-E)

2

75

1960

1971

Korolev KK (TMK) 1966

3

150

1966

1980

NASA Ride Report 1987

4

365

1986

2000

NASA Ride Report 1987

6

210

1987

2004

NASA 90 Day Study 1989

4

980–1,300

1989

2017

STCAEM CAB 1991

4

410

1991

2016

Kurchatov Mars 1994

5

800

1994

2010

NASA Design Reference Mission 3 1997

6

410

1997

2011

NASA Mars Combo Lander 1998

4

280

1998

2011

NASA Design Reference Mission 4 1998

6

400

1998

2011

NASA Dual Lander Mission

12

600

1999

2011

Mars Society Mission 1999

10

900

1999

2011

Marpost (Gorshkov 2000)

6

400

2000

2017

Boeing Mars Transfer Vehicle & Lander Concepts for Human Exploration Missions in the 2031-2038 Time Frame (2006)

6

100

2006

2038

Mars Design Reference Mission 5

18

2009

2035

SpaceX Starship

100

2012

2024

Inspiration Mars (Tito 2013)

2

2013

2021

PRIVATE & GOV SECTOR PLANS TO SEND HUMANS ON MARS

A number of nations and organizations have long-term intentions to send humans to Mars.
(i) The United States has several robotic missions currently exploring Mars, with a sample-return planned for the future. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) is intended to serve as the launch/splashdown crew delivery vehicle, with a Deep Space Habitat module providing additional living-space for the 16-month-long journey. The first crewed Mars Mission, which will include sending astronauts to Mars, orbiting Mars, and a return to Earth, is scheduled for the 2030s. Technology development for US government missions to Mars is underway, but there is no well-funded approach to bring the conceptual project to completion with human landings on Mars by the mid-2030s, the stated objective. NASA is under presidential orders to land humans on Mars by 2033, and NASA-funded engineers are studying a way to build potential human habitats there by producing bricks from pressurized Martian soil.
(ii)The European Space Agency has a long-term goal to send humans but has not yet built a crewed spacecraft. It has sent robotic probes like ExoMars in 2016 and plans to send the next probe in 2020.
(iii) India successfully placed an uncrewed Mars Orbiter Mission (also called Mangalyaan) satellite in Mars orbit in 2014. ISRO plans a larger follow-up mission called Mangalyaan 2 between 2018 and 2020. This mission will likely consist of a lander and a Mars rover.
(iv) No plans for an Indian human mission to Mars have been made public.
(v) Japan has sent one robotic mission to Mars in 1998, the Nozomi, but it failed to achieve Mars orbit. JAXA has proposed a rover mission called MELOS for an engineering demonstration of precision landing, and to look for possible biosignatures on Mars in 2020 or 2022. No plans for a Japanese human mission to Mars have been made public.
(vi) China's first attempted mission to Mars, the Yinghuo-1 space probe, was lost with Russia's sample return mission to Phobos, Fobos-Grunt in 2011–2012. China plans to develop and launch an orbiter, lander and rover to Mars in July or August 2020 with a Long March 5 heavy lift rocket. A crewed phase is planned for the 2040–2060 timeframe.
(vii) Russia plans to send humans in the 2040–2045 timeframe.


HUMAN HEALTH CONCERNS & CHALLENGES ON MARS

There are several key physical challenges for human missions to Mars:
(i)Health threat from cosmic rays and other ionizing radiation.
In May 2013, NASA scientists reported that a possible mission to Mars may involve great radiation risk based on energetic particle radiation measured by the RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory while traveling from the Earth to Mars in 2011–2012. The calculated radiation dose was 0.66 sieverts round-trip. The agency's career radiation limit for astronauts is 1 sievert. In mid-September 2017, NASA reported temporarily doubled radiation levels on the surface of Mars, with an aurora 25 times brighter than any observed earlier, due to a massive unexpected solar storm.
(ii)Artistic vision of spacecraft providing artificial gravity by spinning.
(iii)Adverse health effects of prolonged weightlessness, including eyesight impairment.(Depends on mission and spacecraft design.)
(iv)Psychological effects of isolation from Earth and, by extension, the lack of community due to lack of a real-time connection with Earth.
(v)Social effects of several humans living under cramped conditions for more than one Earth year, possibly two or three years. (Depends on spacecraft and mission design).
(vi)Lack of medical facilities and (vii)Potential failure of propulsion or life-support equipment. Smiley face

Comparison of radiation doses – includes the amount detected on the trip from Earth to Mars by the RAD inside the MSL (2011–2013). Vertical axis is in logarithmic scale, so the dose over a Mars year is about 15 times the DOE limit, not less than twice, as a quick glance might suggest. The actual dose would depend on factors such as spacecraft design and natural events such as solar flares.


TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS & HURDLES

Significant technological hurdles need to be overcome for human spaceflight to Mars. Entry into the thin and shallow Martian atmosphere will pose significant difficulties with re-entry and for a spacecraft of the weight needed to carry humans, along with life support, supplies and other equipment. Should a heat shield be used, it would need to be very large. Retro rockets could be used, but would add significant further weight. A return mission to Mars will need to land a rocket to carry crew off the surface. Launch requirements mean that this rocket would be significantly smaller than an Earth-to-orbit rocket. Mars-to-orbit launch can also be achieved in single stage. Despite this, landing an ascent rocket on Mars will be difficult. Reentry for a large rocket will be difficult. In 2014 NASA proposed the Mars Ecopoiesis Test Bed.
Smiley face

Intravenous fluid

One of the medical supplies that might be needed is a considerable mass of intravenous fluid, which is mainly water but contains other substances so it can be added directly to the human blood stream. If it could be created on the spot from existing water, this would reduce mass requirements. A prototype for this capability was tested on the International Space Station in 2010.


Breathing gases

While it is possible for humans to breathe pure oxygen, usually additional gases like nitrogen are included in the breathing mix. One possibility is to take in-situ nitrogen and argon from the atmosphere of Mars; however, they are hard to separate from each other. As a result, a Mars habitat may use 40% argon, 40% nitrogen, and 20% oxygen. An idea for keeping carbon dioxide out of the breathing air is to use re-usable amine bead carbon dioxide scrubbers. While one carbon dioxide scrubber filters the astronaut's air, the other is vented to the Mars atmosphere.




The future of space exploration involves both telescopic exploration and the physical exploration of space by unmanned robotic space probes and human spaceflight

In the longer term there are tentative plans for crewed orbital and landing missions to the Moon and Mars, establishing scientific outposts that will later make way for permanent and self sufficient settlements on MOON & MARS.